“MPs are free, they vote according to their hearts,” said the Prime Minister, speaking on ERR radio on Friday. The coalition's target was to elect Ene Ergma (IRL) as speaker and Laine Randjärv (Reform Party) as one of the two deputy speakers, said Ansip.
Coalition parties secured another term for IRL's incumbent, Speaker of Parliament Ergma, who was supported by 81 of the 101 MPs and had no opponents.
In a separate vote, Randjärv received 38 votes, Jüri Ratas /Center Party) 31 and Eiki Nestor (Social Democrats) 28, but as the Center Party has 21 seats and the Social Democrats, who recently joined forces with five ex-Center Party MPs, now have 24 MPs, Nestor was expected to be voted in.
Assuming that no opposition members broke ranks, calculations show that four coalition MPs voted for Nestor and ten for Ratas. “The Reform Party had no agreement with the Center Party and neither did IRL, I don't believe only MPs from one party outside their own parties voted for Jüri Ratas or Eiki Nestor,” said the PM.
Ansip denied that his party and the Center Party have become closer in recent years, “There are no connections, my last chat with Savisaar was in 2007. After that we have found ourselves in the same room, greeted, but have had no solid conversation,” said Ansip.
He said he refuses to believe that IRL would have voted for the opposition candidates as a no confidence vote against coalition partner Reform Party. The Cabinet coalition of the Reform Party and IRL has shown cracks in recent weeks, with the Reform Party remaining cold on IRL's candidate for the position of chief of police and criticizing IRL's administrative reform plan.