Minister of rural affairs proposes removing secretary general from post

Illar Lemetti
Illar Lemetti Source: FAO/Alessandra Benedetti

Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik (EKRE) has proposed removing Illar Lemetti, secretary general of the Ministry of Rural Affairs, from the post.

Järvik made his proposal of removing Lemetti from the position of secretary general of the Ministry of Rural Affairs, citing failed cooperation as the reason, the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) said.

"A secretary general of a ministry shall be released from service if, according to the assessment of a minister, the cooperation between the minister and the secretary general fails," Järvik said.

According to the minister, cooperation between him and Lemetti has failed and Järvik thus proposed to the government that Lemetti be released from the position of secretary general on the basis of and pursuant to the procedure prescribed by law.

Järvik was at the center of controversy late last week over a conflict of interest which saw his former advisor, Urmas Arumäe, representing defendants in an EU subsidy fraud case against the agricultural registers and information board (PRIA), a body which falls under the rural affairs ministry's remit.

Arumäe stepped down on Friday, but opposition parties are maintaining pressure for Järvik, already embroiled in a Listeria controversy at a fish-packing plant, to resign.

Lemetti claimed last week that Järvik declined to sign a mandate which would have allowed the PRIA to claim damages in the subsidy fraud case; Järvik later said his assent was not needed, producing a letter from justice minister Raivo Aeg (Isamaa) to back up his case.


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Editor: Helen Wright, Andrew Whyte

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