The Reform Party board decided to hand the Estonian treasury to Ms Maris Lauri, who has been an Economic Adviser to Prime Minister Rõivas since spring.
Ms Lauri has only just joined the Reform Party, she has no previous political background and has not been elected to any public office before.
However she is a well-known figure for Estonians – she was the Chief Economic Analyst for Swebank Estonia (previously Hansapank) from 1998-2011, and as such a sought after expert voice during Estonia’s economic crisis.
After quitting Swedbank she ran her own consulting business, but was hired by Prime Minister Rõivas this spring as Economic Adviser.
Ms Lauri is undoubtedly qualified for the finance portfolio, but as a technocrat has a steep hill to climb in order to succeed. Finance Ministry is regarded as one of the toughest posts in government and previous appointees without political experience have had notable trouble to establish themselves firmly on top of the issues.
The first task falling on Ms Lauri will be to steer next year’s budget through the parliament. A process that can involve daunting public questioning in front of MPs.
She does not have long to prove herself. Estonia will hold a general election in March 2015 and therefore has less than six months before all cards could be shuffled again.
Ms Lauri’s appointment came a day after present Finance Minister Mr Jürgen Ligi announced his resignation. Mr Ligi had to step down after insulting the Education Minister Mr Jevgeni Ossinovski in a Facebook post last week.