Estonia’s ruling Reform Party has reelected Prime Minister Kaja Kallas as its chairperson and confirmed her staying on as the Baltic nation’s leader
TALLINN, Estonia — Estonia’s ruling Reform Party reelected Prime Minister Kaja Kallas as its chairperson Saturday and confirmed her staying on as the Baltic nation’s leader amid widespread calls by opposition and voters for her to resign over a scandal involving her husband’s business dealings in Russia.
Kallas was the only candidate for the party leadership post as center-right Reform held a general meeting in the capital, Tallinn. Two-thirds of the 931 delegates who took part in a vote supported her and one-third abstained.
The 46-year-old lawyer has been the leader of the Reform Party, Estonia’s largest political group, since April 2018. She became the country’s first female prime minister in January 2021.
Earlier this week, Kallas publicly signaled at a foreign policy conference in Washington her interest in becoming the next secretary-general of NATO. NATO’s current chief, Jens Stoltenberg, is due to step down in October 2024 after 10 years in the post.
Kallas had previously called for companies in Estonia to cease their operations in Russia.
During parliamentary committee hearings, she denied knowing the details of her husband’s business activities in Russia. She has refused to resign despite urging to do so from President Alar Karis. Over two-thirds of Estonians surveyed in recent opinion polls said they thought Kallas should step down.