Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) will not get out of assessing the activities of Minister of Rural Affairs Mart Järvik (EKRE), said Indrek Saar, chairman of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE).
"Jüri Ratas is trying to buy himself some time and has tasked officials with assessing Minister Järvik's case," Saar said on Monday following a meeting with Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop, who is heading an inquiry committee into the matter.
"This is clearly an attempt to shift the burden of making an important decision onto other people," he continued. "The fact that officials are tasked with assessing whether or not a politician has overstepped their powers, acted illegally and lied is unusual and sets a precedent."
Peterkop repeatedly confirmed that both he and the other members of the committee would act according to their own consciences and would not allow themselves to be influenced politically, the opposition party chairman said.
"The meeting offered hope that this is indeed the case," he continued. "On the other hand, the public may not see the committee's summary, because the prime minister may decide to declare it classified. In any case, we will demand for it to be made public. The prime minister will not get out of making a decision, however, as he must deliver an assessment of Järvik based on the summary of the inquiry committee."
The committee formed by Ratas is to present its conclusions to the head of government regarding Järvik, the authorization of the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (PRIA), the activities of ex-adviser Urmas Arumäe, the flow of information regarding listeria, as well as possible interference in the work and supervision of the Veterinary and Food Board (VTA).
Editor: Aili Vahtla