Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) said on Monday that he will resign from his post. The move follows comments he and Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) made about the recent United States presidential elections being fraudulent on Sunday.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday morning, Mart Helme said he was leaving his post as minister to preserve the coalition and so that the planned plebiscite on the concept of marriage could take place next year.
"Looking at the slander and lies produced by the Estonian media, I decided to resign last night. I am tired. I did nothing yesterday that would endanger Estonia's security. I have not said anything that has not already been reported by the American media, the American free media," Mart Helme said.
"You cannot muzzle me, nobody can muzzle me. The prime minister cannot muzzle me, the president or media cannot muzzle me," he said. "I say what I consider to be right, what concerns me."
Mart Helme emphasized that Joe Biden is not yet the president of America, but the president-elect. He said the official election results are needed. Minister of Finance (EKRE) Martin Helme agreed.
Mart Helme also attacked the Estonian media at the press conference, accusing them of creating propaganda.
He will return to the Riigikogu as a member of parliament, but will no longer be a minister. Government ministers do not sit at the Riigikogu.
EKRE MP Urmas Espenberg will have to vacate his seat to allow Mart Helme, who was party leader when EKRE won 19 seats at the March 2019 general election, to sit in the chamber.
Martin Helme remains in office at the time of writing.
Martin Helme, who is also chairman of EKRE, said a replacement for his father as minister of the interior has yet to be appointed. The appointment is up to the party, rather than Prime Minister Jüri Ratas.
"I've just finished looking for one minister," he said, referring to the process to find a replacement for another EKRE minister, Rene Kokk, who recently resigned as minister of the environment citing health reasons.
"Each ministry indeed has its own specifics that definitely has to be reckoned with. We will find a good candidate for sure," Helme told journalists.
On Sunday, Ratas called Helme's comments "absurd" and President Kersti Kaljulaid said they were a "verbal assault... an attack against Estonian democracy and security", adding she was "sad and embarrassed". Kaljulaid said she would convene the Defense Council this week to discuss the situation.
Minister of Defense Jüri Luik (Isamaa) said on Sunday that comments made by EKRE ministers Mart and Martin Helme about falsified U.S elections "undermine Estonian security and threaten to deteriorate US-Estonian relations".
Mart Helme: Joe Biden and his son corrupt characters
Minister of the Interior Mart Helme, Minister of Finance Martin Helme and MEP Jaak Madison (all EKRE) said on their TRE radio talk show on Sunday that the results of U.S. presidential elections are falsified and Joe Biden becoming president would mark America's decline, Delfi reported on Sunday.
The Conservative People's Party (EKRE) politicians said they believe large scale electoral fraud had been taking place.
"I believe there can be no question in that these election were falsified," Minister of Finance Martin Helme said. "I believe all normal people should speak up against it. There is no sense in talking about democracy or rule of law in a situation where elections can be faked so plainly, boldly and on a massive scale."
"If this works, if Trump is taken down, the U.S. Constitution will no longer be in effect," he added.
Minister of the Interior Mart Helme said that Joe Biden was elected president by the deep state. "The logic based on which the deep state operates is to smuggle in dirtbags, corrupt dirtbags that can be blackmailed. Joe Biden and Hunter Biden are corrupt characters," the interior minister said.
The hosts also talked about the possibility of civil war in America. "I had a dream before the elections of Trump walking across a field," Mart Helme described. "And then I saw the field was covered in guts and entrails. Trump passed through it. Trump will win eventually; it will happen as a result of an immense struggle, maybe even bloodshed, but justice will win in the end."
Helme is sixth EKRE minister to resign
Mart Helme is the sixth EKRE minister to resign since the party entered into the current Center-EKRE-Isamaa coalition in April 2019.
Former Minister of the Environment Rene Kokk resigned last week due to health reasons.
All other previous resignations have come from ministers from the same post: IT and foreign trade.
The first minister Marti Kuusik stepped down after one day in April 2019, followed by his replacement Kert Kingo, who resigned in October last year.
Kingo's replacement, Kaimar Karu resigned in April this year and was replaced by Raul Siem who is still in office.
Editor: Helen Wright