On Tuesday, Estonia's security police said it was investigating the offices of state credit agency KredEx over suspicions of corruption regarding a 39 million-euro ($48-million) loan granted to the Porto Franco real estate complex in the harbour district of the capital, Tallinn.
The next government is unlikely to include the far-right EKRE party, whose leaders denounced the US election result as rigged and called President-elect Joe Biden "corrupt".
Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas said on Wednesday he was stepping down after his Centre Party came under investigation for corruption linked to a property development company. Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said she would propose that Kaja Kallas, chairwoman of the main opposition, centre-right Reform Party, which emerged as the victor of the 2019 general election, to form the new Cabinet.
He made the decision to resign after a party meeting on Tuesday to discuss the charges, which dragged into the early hours of Wednesday, BNS added.More news: Did YouTube Bar Trump From Posting New Videos to His Channel?
Ratas, prime minister since late 2016, lost the 2019 general election, in which the centre-right Reform Party emerged as the largest party.
Hillar Teder, a businessman and the father of the company's owner, donated large sums to the Centre Party.
"I can say with full peace of mind that as the prime minister, I have not made a single malevolent or knowingly wrong decision".
The resignation could scupper plans for a controversial same-sex marriage referendum the coalition had been planning to hold this spring.More news: Ford: ‘Bad actors’ flouting emergency orders will be fined
Toomla said a grand coalition between Reform, Centre, Isamaa and the Social Democrats was "the most sensible option in the current complicated situation".
The Centre and Reform parties have alternated in government over the almost three decades since Estonia broke free from the crumbling Soviet Union.
They have favored austerity to reduce spending, giving the country one of the eurozone's lowest debt-to-GDP ratios.More news: Hitman 3 All Locations Finally Revealed