Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas to resign, says spokesman by Reuters

© Reuters. EU Leaders Summit in Brussels

By Andrius Sytas VILNIUS (Reuters) – Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas, a member of the European Union, announced his intention to resign on Wednesday morning, his spokesman said, following an investigation into a real estate development project in the capital. Ratas will submit his resignation to the Estonian president on Wednesday, spokeswoman Liisi Poll said, after which the president is tasked with proposing the next government leader to parliament. News Wire BNS said the Ratas party was declared a suspect Tuesday in a criminal investigation into financing a real estate development project in Tallinn. “While there are definitely other ways to do it, only one of them seemed to be the right one,” Ratas, who denies having knowledge of the financing, told reporters, according to BNS. He made the decision after a party meeting on Tuesday to discuss the charges, which dragged on until early Wednesday morning, BNS added. Ratas, prime minister since the end of 2016, lost the 2019 general election, in which the center-right Reform Party emerged as the largest party. He then prevented the winner from taking power by forming a surprise coalition of his left Center, the conservative Patria party, and the far-right EKRE that gave the three parties a majority in parliament. The next Estonian general elections will be held in March 2023.

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