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Estonia's new government sworn in with first-ever female PM

Estonia's new Prime Minister Kaja Kallas takes signs her oath at the Parliament in Tallinn, Estonia January 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Estonia's new two-party coalition government has been sworn in with the first female Prime Minister in the Baltic country since it regained independence in 1991.

The 15-member Cabinet of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas — a 43-year-old lawyer and a former European Parliament lawmaker — was approved Tuesday in the 101-seat Riigikogu legislature, after President Kersti Kaljulaid had first appointed it.

The centre-right Reform Party, chaired by Ms. Kallas, and the left-leaning Centre Party, which are Estonia's two biggest political parties, clinched a deal on Sunday to form a government replacing the previous Cabinet led by Centre leader Juri Ratas that collapsed this month due to a corruption scandal.

Both parties have seven ministerial portfolios in the Cabinet in addition to Ms. Kallas' Prime Minister post. The government musters a comfortable majority in the Parliament.

The Reform Party emerged as the winner of Estonia's 2019 general election under Ms. Kallas' lead but she failed to form a government at the time.

Ms. Kallas stressed gender balance in forming the new Cabinet, placing several women in key positions such as Reform's Keit Pentus-Rosimannus as finance minister and Eva-Maria Liimets, Estonia's ambassador to the Czech Republic, as the foreign minister.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 6:50:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/estonias-new-government-sworn-in-with-first-ever-female-pm/article33667468.ece

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