Lang Continues as Culture Minister After No-Confidence Vote Fails ({{commentsTotal}})

Rein Lang
Rein Lang Source: Courtesy of Riigikogu
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The vote of no confidence in Rein Lang failed to pick up the necessary 51 votes today in Parliament. 

Thirty-eight MPs of the 91 present voted to oust Lang. That was two fewer than the 40 MPs who  signed the petition. Forty is also the combined number of MPs from the Center Party and Social Democrats, who initiated the petition.

The vote proceedings began at 11:00 in Parliament and had concluded a scant half an hour later.

The reason for the vote was a recent shakeup at the culture weekly Sirp, which is state-funded but not under government editorial control.  

“It is clear from information published in various media outlets that Minister of Culture Rein Lang has attempted to hide the fact that he had a part to play in the events surrounding the culture weekly Sirp,” the petition, signed by 40 MPs, said.

The MPs said that there is enough evidence that Lang, a Reform Party member, has lied to conceal or distort his role in the events.

IRL, the Reform Party's coalition partner, and the key to any no-confidence vote, today questioned Lang. Head of IRL's parliamentary faction Kaia Iva told that they were satisfied with the answers and will not vote against him, however, she said that that is the official line and faction members are free to vote as they please. It is an open vote. 

Lang himself said on Wednesday that he will consider resigning over the controversial leadership changes at Sirp, adding that he would first wait to see how the weekly turns out.

Creative unions have accused Lang of being personally involved in purging a number of senior ediotrs at the state-funded weekly.