Estonia could have a female PM

Kaja Kallas, considered the most popular female politician in Estonia, is expected to be named leader of the Reform Party on Friday.

Marian Männi
Marian Männi Eesti Ekspress, Estonia
Source: Eesti Ekspress
Estonia could have a female PM - NewsMavens
Kaja Kallas. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

Many people expect the right-wing Reform Party to win the next parliamentary election. It wouldn't be a big change for Estonia, since the party ruled for 17 years before being pushed out of power at the end of 2016. 

But it would be remarkable in one sense, because Estonia would have both a female president, Kersti Kaljulaid, and a female prime minister.

Even though the next election isn't until February 2019, the political campaigns have already kicked off. Kallas, a charismatic and outspoken member of the European Parliament, is growing in popularity. 

That hasn't shielded her from criticism, including that her father, prominent EU politician Siim Kallas, is pulling the strings on her political career. Kaja Kallas, an attorney, addressed her critics on her blog:

"He is a very good father and I do speak to him a lot, but I have always taken all the decisions myself. I chose a field that nobody in my family had chosen and worked myself up the ladder [...] By the way, when it comes to men over 40, how often do people wonder whether their decisions are taken by their fathers?"

According to the political analysis below, the cards are stacked in favor of the Reform Party, and it should win the election, provided it doesn't sabotage itself with an unexpected blunder along the way. Thus, we can reasonably expect to hear more about Kallas in the near future.

politics, women's issues

Details from the story:

  • The Reform Party will elect its new leader this Friday.
  • According to a recent survey, Estonians' interests have shifted over the past two years from refugees to the economy.
  • In recent years, the Reform Party's platform has focused on economics and national defense.
  • The party's biggest rival, the ruling Estonian Centre Party, has been struggling with corruption cases involving its members.
  • The Centre Party has a loyal Russian-speaking electorate.
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