The political status in Estonia
As Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has contracted COVID-19 and is still recovering, Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab has been carrying out the duties of the highest governmental office. Prime Minister Kallas will resume working as soon as possible, she said in a press release. Her opponent Jüri Ratas, leader of the Centre Party who stepped down in January, on 18 March assumed the office of President of the Riigikogu. Although the next parliamentary elections remain far away, he was recently picked as the preferred candidate for the office of prime minister by the daily newspaper Eesti Päevaleht.
In the race for the presidential election, the current president of the Estonian Academy of Sciences Tarmo Soomere announced that he would be one of the candidates. His announcement came with the belief that Kersti Kaljulaid, incumbent President of Estonia, lacks political support and will not be able to be re-elected.
In COVID-19 news, expert Uku Varblane recently provided a figure on the estimated impact of the crisis on the Estonian budget. Spendings go as high as €1.5bn, which Varblane compares to the defence budget, two-and-half times smaller, and the research and development budget, five times smaller.