Prime minister: Helmes' Biden remarks absurd and inappropriate

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Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center).
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) has condemned remarks made by the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) leadership on Sunday, claiming that the recent presidential in the United States had been rigged, that president-elect Joe Biden was not to be trusted and that his election was a watershed moment which would lead to America's decline.

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) also condemned the remarks, calling them crazy, and not representative of the Estonian government's stance.

Opposition Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas has said a fresh no-confidence motion in Mart Helme as interior minister will be initiated in the new week.

"Mart and Martin Helme's remarks assessing the U.S. elections are not to be taken seriously, and are even absurd," Ratas wrote on his social media account Sunday afternoon.

"Mart and Martin Helme must immediately cease undermining Estonia-U.S. relations," he went on.

"I have also conveyed the same message directly to the EKRE leader (Martin Helme – ed.)."

The Helmes, along with EKRE MEP Jaak Madison, who had been in the U.S. on election day last Tuesday, made their comments on their regular Sunday talk show on Tre Raadio, a radio station owned by EKRE MP Siim Pohlak.

Martin Helme, EKRE leader and finance minister, said: "I believe there can be no question in that these elections were falsified," noting that if the results stand, the U.S. Constitution would no longer be in effect.

Interior minister Mart said that Biden's win, announced Saturday after several days of vote-counting in key, undeclared states, demonstrated the deep state in operation, which could install "dirt bags" in high office, including Biden and his son Hunter, who could then be easily blackmailed.

Ratas rejected both the words and the fact that people in elected office in Estonia had made them.

Ratas wrote: "Impolite criticism based on spurious information and fake news is not becoming for ministers of the Republic of Estonia," he went on, going on to note the importance of the U.S. to Estonia.

Prime minister: Strong U.S.-Estonia relations always a goal regardless of who president is

"For Estonia, strong transatlantic ties and the deepening of bilateral defensive cooperation with the U.S. have always been a goal of foreign policy, whether a Republican or Democratic president is in office. Attacking rhetoric directed against one of our most important allies is therefore extremely irresponsible."

"Members of the Estonian government must remain balanced when commenting on the domestic policy of our greatest ally," Ratas went on.

The prime minister had been among the first in the Estonian leadership, along with President Kersti Kaljulaid, foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) and others, to salute the Democratic candidate on his eventual win.

"On behalf of the Estonian state, I have congratulated by name Joe Biden on his election as 46th U.S. president," Ratas noted on his Sunday social media post.

"The future president of the U.S., voted for by the people, is a very sound statesman, who has pledged to stand up for the rights of all U.S. residents."

There was also no question of the elections having either been rigged or the electoral and governmental system in the U.S. lacking checks and balances.

"The U.S. is a country with a very strong democracy, whose elections are honest, free and transparent. Disputes and complaints can be resolved in the courts, is is customary in any democratic state," Ratas stated.

The prime minister also castigated his finance minister and interior minister for playing with fire with Estonia's security situation.

"Martin Helme, as leader of his party and finance minister of the Republic of Estonia has to understand that the U.S. is our greatest ally and irreplaceable strategically, both for Estonia and the EU."

"Mart Helme as interior minister at the same time should know very well that serious allegations without evidence are unacceptable," Ratas went on.

Ratas also reiterated the elections had been free and fair, involving the mass of the American electorate, and that Biden as president would be likely to take on redressing rifts in society, including economic ones, in measures which Estonia could do well to learn from.

While Joe Biden was announced president-elect on Saturday, after bagging Pennsylvania and with the requisite number of electoral college votes, incumbent President Donald Trump has yet to concede, and has consistently called the elections rigged and promised legal action.

His party, the Republicans, have a majority at the Senate after Tuesday's election.

Mart Helme had directly mentioned civil war in his radio appearance Sunday, saying he had had a dream involving Donald Trump traipsing through a field littered with human entrails, and adding that while Trump will eventually emerge as the victor in reality, this will only be after a struggle which may also involve bloodshed.

U.S. daily the Washington Post also picked up Mart Helme's original outburst and his mention of potential bloodshed, as well Ratas' reaction that his words had been absurd.

Foreign minister: Crazy talk

Urmas Reinsalu says that the statements made by the Helmes do not reflect the Estonian government's position on the U.S. elections and Biden's victory, adding that the minister should stick to domestic politics instead of attempting to interfere in U.S. affairs.

"This (the Helmes' comments – ed.) is a crazy line which does not represent for a single second, or in any regard, the official position of the Estonian state. I recommend that my fellow government members deal with Estonia's problems, not the leadership of the U.S.," Reinsalu wrote on his own social media account Sunday

"It is possible to express your views on allied policy in a dignified way," Reinsalu added, noting that insults directed towards Biden damage allied relations and are not in the interests of Estonia's independence. 

Mart Helme has in the past 12 months referred to Finland's prime minister Sanna Marin as a "salesgirl" and said that Estonia required a "plan B" as a hedge against NATO membership.

Kaja Kallas: Are there any boundaries?

Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas says a no-confidence motion will be launched in Mart Helme in the week starting Monday, the third the party has initiated in the interior minister.

"A no-confidence motion in Mart Helme is planned for the new week. All MPs who vote against the motion or abstain can in effect be considered to condone their (the Helme's – ed.) positions, since then the minister will remain in office and continue to shame Estonia. Are there any boundaries?" Kallas wrote on her own social media account Sunday.

For a no-confidence motion to pass, it must receive a minimum 51 votes at the 101-seat Riigikogu. Reform and the other opposition party, the social democrats, between them have 44 seats, meaning over half-a-dozen coalition MPs would have to vote with them on the motion.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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