Toomas Alatalu, the political columnist and lecturer at the Tallinn University of Technology, compares Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas's appearance at the Reform Party video clip filmed at Ämari Air Base to the likes of Arab sheikhs and kings, rather than what's appropriate for a democratically elected leader.
„When I returned from a foreign trip few days ago, I was shocked to see that clip, namely that the Prime Minister was walking alone on the military airfield, without the Defense Minister or Chief of Defense Staff. The question arises – is the power solely held by Rõivas, or do we have a coalition government where both parties respect each other. Is it still the case that all parties represented in the Estonian Parliament have a consensus by supporting the current defense and security policies, and are we a united team in this,” Alatalu said in an opinion article with Eesti Päevaleht.
Alatalu also pointed out that the election campaign has not officially even started yet, wondering about the Reform Party's initiative to make “such a show.”
“I have an extensive collection of photos of hundreds of politicians from around the world, dressed in extravagant clothes, and in an unusual situations. But to think about it, I couldn't recall a similar behaviour to Rõivas's march at Ämari, par King of Jordan. Unlike the Prime Minister of Estonia, the King of Jordan actually has a money and resources to buy military jets to be proud of. But Rõivas was not advertising his party in front of Estonian jets, but the Allied ones,” Alatalu said.
Peeter Lõhmus, a financial adviser at the European Commission, backed Alatalu's opinion today, by saying that using the state institutions for political party ads is not appropriate for the democratic country, and would be looked down upon in Europe.
“The fact that in this case, the military institution has been used, makes it worse. We would not see Angela Merkel, David Cameron or George W. Bush filming their party ad in the military base, even though Bush increased the US military spending though the roof. But we would see the likes of Kirchner (the President of Argentina) and Chavez (the former Venezuelan President who died last year), rest in peace, doing it,” Lõhmus said.