Helme nominates interior ministry adviser as foreign trade, IT minister

Raul Siem,
Raul Siem, Source: Rae valla veebileht

Chairman of EKRE and Minister of the Interior Mart Helme confirmed to ERR he will nominate an adviser from within the ministry who he "trusts through and through" as the new minister for foreign trade and IT.

Helme said Raul Siem will the new candidate and that he has already met with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.

"Raul Siem is a tried and tested person, he has a lot of political experience, and lengthy experience in the party and he is a person I trust through and through," said Helme on Friday.

Siem is an adviser to the minister of the interior with a background in law. He is also EKRE's representative in the Political Party Funding Supervision Committee (ERJK).

Siem, born on June 5, 1973, has been a member of EKRE since August 2016. He was the number one EKRE candidate in Rae municipality in the 2017 local elections. Siem received 164 votes and was elected to Rae Parish Council. 

On Friday afternoon, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas announced he would propose Karu's dismissal to President Kersti Kaljulaid.

"I spoke to Kaimar today and thanked him for his dedicated and professional work in the government. I also wish him every success in his next challenges, be they in politics or beyond," Ratas wrote on social media.

On Friday morning, Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Kaimar Karu announced that Helme, has decided to recall him from office. Karu was not a member of EKRE and he came to politics from the private sector with more than a decades worth of IT experience.  

EKRE sources confirmed to ERR relations with Karu started to come under strain when said he did not support changes being made to the Aliens Act, which regulates migration.

Karu was also accused of weakness in the management of Eesti Post and of leaving too much decision-making power to the company's executive management.

EKRE chairman Mart Helme said Karu's activities have caused misunderstandings and questions among the party's members.

"We expect all our party ministers to act in accordance with the values ​​and views of party supporters, including on issues such as immigration, migrant labor, e-elections and the provision of postal services in rural areas," said Helme.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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