Ratas' call to recognize exemplary citizens flooded by support for Lemetti
A Citizen's Day video greeting posted on Facebook by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) on Tuesday morning in which he called on everyone to comment and recognize exemplary Estonian citizens was flooded with support for Illar Lemetti, who had been dismissed by the Estonian government as secretary general of the Ministry of Rural Affairs just the day before.
In the video (link in Estonian), Ratas explained that Nov. 26 is celebrated as Citizen's Day, which is dedicated to all Estonian citizens and those working toward gaining Estonian citizenship.
"It was on this day in 1918 that the Estonian Provincial Assembly passed a regulation regarding Estonian citizenship that legally established the concept of Estonian citizenship," he explained.
"I believe that we have to notice and recognize each other's contributions to society on a daily basis," he continued, calling on everyone to comment and "recognize as many good people of Estonia as possible."
The caption below the video likewise called upon viewers to comment with the names of people they believed deserve recognition on Citizen's Day, and congratulated this year's Citizen of the Year Riina Roose.
As of the time of publication, over 1,500 people had commented below the video, the vast majority of which named Illar Lemetti, who had been dismissed by the Estonian government as secretary general of the Ministry of Rural Affairs just one day prior.
"Illar Lemetti — for his civil courage, statesmanship and strong spine!" wrote one commenter. "Happy Citizen's Day, everyone!"
"It would be fitting on Citizen's Day to recall Illar Lemetti, who believed it to be right to take a stand against corruption, in response to which the prime minister recognized him with a lifetime vacation," wrote another. "Good job, Jüri!"
Lemetti, who worked under Mart Järvik (EKRE) — the latter of whom was likewise dismissed by President Kersti Kaljulaid under Ratas' recommendation on Monday morning — had recently reported possible corruption at the Ministry of Rural Affairs under Järvik's leadership to the Prosecutor's Office, and notified the prime minister in a letter of having done so.
He has promised to challenge his dismissal in court.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla