Opposition parties submit no-confidence motion against Järvik

Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas at the Riigikogu.
Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas at the Riigikogu. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The opposition parties, spearheaded by Reform leader Kaja Kallas, have handed over a no-confidence motion in rural affairs minister Mart Järvik (EKRE) on Thursday morning.

The motion, which Kallas promised late last week, had garnered the required amount of signatures to make it to the Riigikogu, and was handed over at the start of Thursday's session at the chamber.

"Mart Järvik has proved that he is not able to hold this position," Kaja Kallas said in an accompanying statement.

Kallas referred to allegations that Järvik had obstructed the work of the Veterinary and Food Board (VTA), which falls under the rural affairs ministry's remit, confusion over the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (PRIA), adding that Järvik had made misleading statements.

Riigikogu deputy speaker, Siim Kallas (Reform), who is chairing Thursday's Riigikogu sitting, said the motion would be immediately forwarded to the government, so the latter can decide on procedure.

The government had already said it would like to have the motion sent to the Riigikogu on Thursday.

Government ministers do not sit at the Riigikogu, but appear there regularly to answer questions from MPs.

Kallas said late last week, following revelations that the rural affairs minister had hired an advisor who was also legally representing defendants in a case against the PRIA, that unless Järvik step down from his post, the no-confidence motion would be presented.

This is the third such motion Kallas and the opposition Reform and Social Democratic Party (SDE) have presented concerning the Centre Party/EKRE/Isamaa coalition since it came into office in late April. The previous two no-confidence motions were both against interior minister Mart Helme (EKRE), but did not meet the minimum 51 votes at the 101-seat Riigikogu to pass.

A scandal has erupted around Järvik after a conflict of interest was revealed 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.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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