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BREAKING NEWS

Estonian parliament gives Centre's Ratas nod to lead government

Estonian parliament gives Centre's Ratas nod to lead government
Estonia's Prime Minister candidate Juri Ratas adresses Estonian Parliament in Tallinn, Estonia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins -
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INTS KALNINS(Reuters)
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TALLINN (Reuters) - Estonia's Centre party leader Juri Ratas secured parliament's support on Wednesday to continue as prime minister and form a new government that will bring a far-right party into the cabinet for the first time.

Ratas secured support from 55 lawmakers in parliament, exceeding the 51 votes required to form a new government and continue as prime minister.

Ratas, prime minister since late 2016, lost a March 3 election in which the centre-right Reform Party emerged the largest party.

Ratas blocked Reform's leader Kaja Kallas from taking power by agreeing a surprise coalition between his left-leaning Centre, the conservative Fatherland party and the far-right EKRE, giving the three parties a majority in parliament.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki, editing by Anna Ringstrom and Susan Fenton)

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