Former MEP Kaja Kallas to become Estonia’s first female prime minister

Former MEP Kaja Kallas to become Estonia’s first female prime minister
Date: Tuesday, 26 January 2021 13:10

Kaja Kallas, who leads the centre-right Reform Party, will become the country’s premier after forming a coalition government with the centre-left Centre Party. Kallas, who was a deputy for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe from 2014 until 2018, subsequently became the first female chair of the Reform Party, of which her father, former European Commissioner and Estonian Prime Minister Siim Kallas, was one of the founding members, writes Lorna Hutchinson.

The new coalition government was formed after Estonia’s previous prime minister Juri Ratas and his cabinet resigned on January 13 in the wake of a corruption scandal involving a key party official.

Kallas’ appointment will not only make history by giving the country its first female prime minister, but it will also make Estonia the only country in the world where both the prime minister and the president (Kersti Kaljulaid) are women.

Danish Renew Europe MEP Karen Melchior also pointed out the gender balance of the new government, saying, “Congratulations on the equality reach of the new Estonian government, there are 7 women ministers out of 15, and Prime Minister is Kaja Kallas.”

Many other former colleagues at the European Parliament extended their congratulations and best wishes to Kallas on hearing the news.

Renew Europe leader Dacian Cioloș said, “Congratulations and best wishes to Kaja Kallas, the new Renew Europe and first ever female Prime Minister of Estonia. I look forward to working with you for a strong Estonia at the heart of a stronger European Union.”

Hungarian member Katalin Cseh said, “Congratulations to Kaja Kallas, the trailblazing first female Prime Minister of Estonia, leader of a new gender-balanced government and a key ally in our quest to Renew Europe.”

Parliament Vice-President and EPP member Roberta Metsola said, “In Kaja Kallas Estonia gets not only its first female Prime Minister and a committed European leader, but one of the very best people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Well done Estonia. Good luck Kaja!”

Estonian S&D MEP Marina Kaljurand said that Kaja Kallas’ government has not yet taken office and is already making history, not only with Kallas becoming the country’s first female prime minister, “but even more important than one position is that half of the members of the government are women.”

Kaja Kallas: It’s time to start thinking about working with robots — not fear them by Julie Levy-Abegnoli

Dutch deputy Sophie in ‘t Veld said, “Congratulations to the new Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, adding, “Best wishes to the new, gender-balanced, pro-European, reform-minded government!”

Finnish member Nils Torvalds said, “Congratulations Kaja Kallas, my good friend, on forming a government in Estonia! I knew this would happen the day you left the European Parliament.”

Czech MEP Dita Charanzová said, “Congratulations to my former colleague and IMCO ally in the EP Kaja Kallas — the first female Prime Minister of Estonia! All my best wishes to you in your new role.

Former Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake said, “Great news from Estonia! Incredibly proud of my friend and former colleague Kaja Kallas — first female Prime Minister, assembled a coalition under very challenging circumstances.”

Romanian member Nicu Ștefănuță said, “I worked with Kaja Kallas when she was an active member of the EP US Delegation. Happy she will now lead Estonia. Trust her leadership.”

EPP MEP Eva Maydell said, “Congratulations to my former colleague and dear friend Kaja Kallas on becoming the first female PM of Estonia and on the formation of the cabinet! Wishing you the best of success!”

Adrián Vázquez Lázara said, “Congratulations to the new Prime Minister of Estonia, our colleague Kaja Kallas,” adding, “A new young European leader for the liberal family to bring reform and foster the idea a of a stronger Europe. Best of luck!”

Belgian member Hilde Vautmans celebrated the “historic moment,” adding, “Kaja Kallas, a former colleague, will be the first woman to make it to prime minister in Estonia. Congratulations and all the best for the future. Renew Europe is proud of you.”

German Greens MEP Terry Reintke said, “Congratulations Kaja Kallas. I wish you success — especially in the fight for rule of law and equality.”