Never a people to miss an opportunity to work some more, the very Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip will take a stab at forming the next coalition government today, Sunday, here in Estonia. Talks are underway with four parties, Reformierakond (31 seats), Isamaa-Res Publica Liit (19 seats), the Sotsid (13 seats) and Rohelised (6 seats).
Keskerakond has already declared publicly that it will head to the opposition in the next Riigikogu. I don't know what direct role Russian interests play in Keskerakond, but Russian official's post-election posturing leaves no doubt that Savisaar is their favorite -- a post-Cold War Urho Kekkonen they can go hunting with.
But that leaves us to the tantalizing task of guessing who is going to get which ministry.
Well, given Reform's showing in the elction, I would suspect that they wish to retain their current ministers. That is, Ansip will continue as prime minister, Rein Lang as justice minister, the Mr. Rogers'-esque Paul-Eerik Rummo as population and ethnic affairs minister, and Jürgen Ligi as defense minister.
Some have already speculated that Mart Laar intends to seek the foreign minister's chair. I bet that IRL also has its eyes on the Ministry of Education. Perhaps Ene Ergma can find an uncontested job there, or will Jaak Aaviksoo show her up? Well, if Laar does take the FM job, if I have heard that Urmas Paet would instead take over the ministry of culture.
I have also heard rumors that Sotsdem leader Ivari Padar has his sights on the Ministry of Agriculture, and, of course, Rohelised leader Marek Strandberg wishes to take over the ministry of environment. In fact, I can very well imagine the Greens being included in this government with one minister's chair. If there were major disagreements, it's obvious that the chair could be easily filled without compromising the coalition in the future. What's more it will keep the Rohelised in bed with Ansip and Laar, instead of making deals with Savisaar on the side.
Outside of that, with Keskerakond and Eestimaa Rahvaliit heading into opposition, I bet that Reform will make use of its electoral muscle and put more if its ministers into powerful positions, such as the ministry of finance and the ministry of economic affairs and communications.
What do you think the next cabinet will look like?