Former prime minister criticized portfolios given to Center Party

Mart Laar served as prime minister from 1992-1994 and again from 1999-2002.
Mart Laar served as prime minister from 1992-1994 and again from 1999-2002. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Former Prime Minister Mart Laar (Isamaa) has said Kaja Kallas' decision to give the portfolios of minister of the interior and minister of foreign affairs to the Center Party could put internal and external security in danger.

"Leaving apart some individuals, does anybody imagine how vigorously the institutions under the ministries belonging to the Center Party - or the Reform Party - will start investigating the corruption scandal? Or how credible and trustworthy the Center Party's minister of foreign affairs will be, when [the party] has signed a contract with a Russian party, [or] protesting against arresting Alexei Navalny?" Laar said in an interview to daily newspaper Postimees.

The Center Party's new foreign minister, Eva-Maria Liimets, was sworn in last week. She is a former ambassador to the Czech Republic but is not a member of the Center Party. She has said she will join the party in the future. This is the first time Center have held the minister of foreign affairs portfolio.

The Center Party signed an agreement with United Russia a decade ago.

The party's minister of Interior is Kristjan Jaani, moved to the ministerial role from heading up the Northern Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA). He is also not a member of the Center Party and took the role to help clean up corruption.

Laar also criticized the previous government of former Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) and the leaders of EKRE Mart and Martin Helme.

"We have really seen a lot in politics, but I have to admit that the family company of the Helmes managed to surprise me multiple times," Laar said but added that he was pleasantly surprised by several EKRE parliament members who managed to present their views in a polite manner.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Helen Wright

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