Appointment of new ISS chief postponed due to government crisis

ISS crest.
ISS crest. Source: Patrik Tamm / ERR

Due to the dismissal from office of the Center Party's component of the Estonian government last Friday, a planned meeting for Thursday focused on appointing the new chief of the Internal Security Service (ISS) will now not go ahead, meaning it will not yet be known who will replace Arnold Sinisalu as head of the authority from next year.

Sinisalu's second term as head of the ISS, also known in Estonia by its acronym, Kapo, is to expire next year.

The planned meeting, involving the Riigikogu's legal affairs committee and scheduled for noon Thursday, concerning the new ISS chief was canceled, since the relevant ministerial post – Minister of the Interior – is currently vacant after Kristian Jaani was dismissed together with the other Center Party ministers.

An interior ministry spokesperson told ERR that: "The selection process is still ongoing."

In the normal run of things, a successful candidate would be approved by the cabinet, upon the recommendation of the interior minister.

The committee would have introduced the new candidate for the post.

ERR's online news in Estonian reports that that candidate was current deputy director, Martin Perling. However, Monika Viidul, head of communications at the interior ministry, told ERR Thursday afternoon that the candidate is not Martin Perling. The candidate, whose name Viidul said was unknown to her, has not changed following the recent developments, she added.

The heads of the Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) and of the Rescue Board (Päästeamet), also under the interior ministry's remit, will also see their terms end next year and replacements will need to be found for these authorities too.

Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet (Reform) is currently deputizing as caretaker interior minister also; all of Reform's ministers have doubled up in a similar way, since last Friday and pending the formation of a new coalition.

Reform continues to govern alone, as a minority administration with 34 seats at the 101-seat Riigikogu (active government ministers themselves do not sit at the Riigikogu).


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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