Lüganuse councilor who sparked school principal dismissal quits politics

A protestor bearing a placard with leading Lüganuse Rural Municipality members; Enno Vinni is at right.
A protestor bearing a placard with leading Lüganuse Rural Municipality members; Enno Vinni is at right. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

A member of the Lüganuse Rural Municipality in Ida-Viru County who was at the center of a furor last December following the dismissal of a school principal in the district is stepping down from politics.

Enno Vinni, an independent member, had protested a Reform Party youth meeting held at the Kiviõli Secondary School Number 1 in late November, which subsequently saw the principal, Heidi Uustalu, dismissed, despite protests from teachers, students, parents and others.

Vinni filed a statement with the secretary of the municipal council on Sunday, saying that he had reached the end of the line with his career in politics.

"In order to avoid further damage to my reputation and to preserve my health, family and loved ones, I will cease all further political and executive involvement in local government, thus ending 30 years and 63 days of involvement in local government activity" Vinni said, in the seven-page-long statement, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.

Vinni sent a letter to the municipal government on November 28 last year, calling for the investigation of alleged activity at the Kiviõli school.

In a letter sent to Lüganuse council and municipal government on November 28 last year, Enno Vinnn suggested investigating alleged political activity at Kiviõli Secondary School No. 1.

A Reform Party youth meeting organized by Uustalu on school premises had triggered the letter from Vinni, who had previously been a Reform Party councilor.

A week later, the Lüganuse Rural Municipality terminated their employment contract with Heidi Uustalu, who been principal at the Kiviõli school for 15 years, leading to protests and teachers' strikes.

Uustalu was replaced in the interim by Estonian language and literature teacher Anu Vau. Vau became full-time principal last month; negotiations to reinstate Uustalu as principal to year-end, failed in January.

Enno Vinni had resigned due to a no-confidence vote in May 2018 and left the Reform Party the same year. He remained an independent councilor. The Center Party is in office on the municipal council at Luganüse.

Vinni faced a no-confidence vote in December in the aftermath of the dismissal of Uustalu, but survived it after the opposition Reform Party councilors failed to get the required 10 votes at the 19-seat chamber.

Council chair Dmitri Dmitrijev (Center) and the municipal government itself had also faced a no-confidence vote.

Vinni will be replaced on the Lüganuse municipality by Leino Tammann.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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