Estonia's education minister survives no-confidence vote

Liina Kersna after the no-confidence vote against her failed.
Liina Kersna after the no-confidence vote against her failed. Source: Erik Peinar/riigikogu

Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna (Reform) on Thursday survived a vote of no-confidence brought against her by opposition parties over procurement deals for rapid tests for schools.

Of the 101 members of the Riigikogu, 39 MPs voted in favor of the motion, 33 against and nine abstained. Fifty-one votes were needed for the vote to pass.

EKRE and Center members voted against Kersna as did one member of Isamaa, a party currently in negotiations with Reform to create a new governing coalition.

Martin Helme, EKRE chairman, submitted the motion against the minister with 39 signatures of support on Tuesday.

Center MP Marko Šorin said Kersna had broken the public procurement rules, given one company an unfair advantage, caused economic damage to the state and damaged its reputation.

"The purpose of public procurement is to ensure the economical and efficient use of taxpayers' money. The minister of education and research has gone against this principle," he said.

Kersna told the Riigikogu on Thursday that she had carried out her role as minister honestly and responsibly.

"Of course, I have also thought about resigning, and if the prosecution decides that they will start an investigation, I will resign immediately," Kersna said, in response to a question posed by EKRE MP Kert Kingo.

At the end of May, the Ministry of Finance initiated misdemeanor proceedings against the Reform MP after analyzing the procurements.

Isamaa Chairman Heli-Valdor Seeder said on Thursday he does not want Kersna to continue in a new government. The party is currently negotiating with Reform and SDE to form a coalition.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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