Samost and Sildam discussed official-like ministers in new government

Anvar Samost (left) and Toomas Sildam, on an earlier Vikerraadio broadcast..
Anvar Samost (left) and Toomas Sildam, on an earlier Vikerraadio broadcast.. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The new government has ministers who are more officials than they are politicians as evidenced in difficulties to express personal opinion, journalists Anvar Samost and Toomas Sildam found in their Sunday talk show.

"Ours is an exceptional government right now as we have very seldom seen ministers who do not belong to ruling parties and have not run in elections," Samost said, pointing to Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets and Minister of Internal Affairs Kristjan Jaani.

He said that lack of political experience is what has kept Liimets from providing clear answers to questions that require one to express one's opinion. "That is why when Liimets is asked whether Estonia should position itself in a particular way regarding China, she gets bogged down in the ministry's talking points. The minister lacks a conviction or the will to express it," Samost found.

"The foreign minister's conviction might be contrary to Estonia's official position," Sildam said.

Samost said that ministers who have a personal take on matters are still capable of representing the coalition agreement, modifying their positions if necessary. "If you lack an opinion in a situation where you are invited to the government once the coalition agreement already exists, that's a different story. It is not better or worse, but it is different," he said.

Sildam remarked that the personal opinions of the foreign and defense ministers as well as the PM are often overshadowed by the coalition agreement.

The journalists said that while Liimets' comment from Sunday morning on Josep Borrell's Moscow visit came late, it was unusually forceful.

Even though Kristian Jaani has been a more successful public speaker so far, he has not been forced to talk about divisive issues, such as immigration, Sildam noted.

Samost said that in addition to the former ambassador to the Czech Republic (Liimets – ed.) and former northern prefect of the PPA (Jaani – ed.), the government includes other ministers who are administrators rather than politicians. He pointed to [Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure] Taavi Aas and [Minister of Public Administration] Jaak Aab for Center and [Minister of Defense] Kalle Laanet for Reform.

The hosts of "Samost ja Sildam" also talked about vaccination progress and Board of the Riigikogu elections to take place on Monday.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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