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SDE in ministerial reshuffle

The Social Democrats are calling back nearly all of their government ministers and replacing them with new faces, including party chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski.

Ossinovski will become the health and labor minister, instead of Rannar Vassiljev, Liisa Oviir will replace Urve Palo as the minister of entrepreneurship and Hannes Hanso will replace Sven Mikser as the defense minister.

Ossinovski said, commenting on why he chose health and labor, not the more prestigious defense ministry, that health and labor are important topics for the party. “My aim, as the minister, is to mold Estonia into a living environment where everyone has equal opportunities for a work-rich, healthy and dignifying life,” he said.

“Liisa Oviir's wide set of knowledge and experience in the area makes her, as the minister of entrepreneurship, a good partner for companies and increases the quality of strategic decision made by the state,” Ossinovski said.

Oviir has been the head lawyer at Eesti Energia since 2008, having previously worked for Tallink.

“Hannes Hanso is an expert on foreign and security policy and this makes him a very good candidate for the defense ministry spot,” Ossinovski said.

Hanso is currently an SDE MP and the chairman of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee. He has held posts at the International Center for Defense and Security and was posted in China and Mongolia as part of EU's diplomatic service.

Palo and Mikser will come MPs, once the new faces are confirmed as ministers.

The only Social Democrat minister to hold on to his post is Minister of Culture Indrek Saar.

Editor: J.M. Laats

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