Estonian prime minister to resign, says spokeswoman

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Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas, a member of the European Union, early on Wednesday announced his intention to resign, his spokeswoman, Liisi Poll said.

The Prime Minister’s resignation comes in the wake of an inquiry into a property development project in the capital, according to media reports.

Ratas went to Estonia’s president on Wednesday morning to present his resignation, news wire BNS reported.

The spokeswoman said the president will have the task of proposing the next leader of the government to the parliament.

BNS said Ratas’ party was declared suspect on Tuesday in a criminal investigation over the financing of a property development project in Tallinn.

“While there definitely are other ways to go about it, only one of them seemed to be right,” Ratas, who denies any knowledge of the financing, told reporters, according to BNS.

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He took the decision after a party meeting on Tuesday to discuss the charges, which dragged into the early hours of Wednesday, BNS added.

Ratas, prime minister since late 2016, lost the 2019 general election, in which the centre-right Reform Party emerged as the largest party.

He then blocked the winner from taking power by forming a surprise coalition of his left-leaning Centre, the conservative Fatherland party and the far-right EKRE.
That coalition then gave the three parties a majority in parliament.

Estonia’s next general election is due in March 2023.

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