Interior minister to pick new internal security chiefs within next month

ISS headquarters in Tallinn.
ISS headquarters in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Interior minister Lauri Läänemets (SDE) will decide on the new candidates for chiefs of the three main internal security agencies a month from now, daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) reports.

The current chiefs of the authorities in question, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), the Rescue Board (Päästeamet) and the Internal Security Service (ISS, also known by its Estonian acronym, Kapo) all see their terms end within the next year, though the process of finding their replacements was disrupted by the change in government last month.

"Nothing has been locked down ... The candidates have not been decided upon," Läänemets told EPL (link in Estonian).

"I still have to talk to one, two and even three people, and also take a look inside the organizations," he continued.

The Riigikogu's legal affairs committee was scheduled to sit with the earmarked candidate for the new ISS director back in early June, but the exit from office of the Center Party ministers stymied this.

EPL wrote that the provisional candidates presented by Läänemets' predecessor, Kristian Jaani, were Martin Purre (ISS), Egert Belitšev (PPA) and either Kuno Tammearu or Tauno Suurkivi (Rescue Board), while the-then Reform/Center coalition had wanted to find the new heads of the authorities by midsummer (June 24) to snsure political stability around the process, until Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) ejected Center from the coalition.

A period of over a month followed with Reform in office alone, until its new coalition with Isamaa and Läänemets' party, the Social Democrats (SDE), entered office.

Läänemets, EPL reports, has been considering his predecessor's candidates since that time, though not decided on anything one way or another yet.

The interior minister recommends the official candidates once chosen, and presents these to the cabinet.

The current ISS chief is Arnold Sinisalu; Elmar Vaher heads up the PPA and Kun Tammearu is Rescue Board director, at present.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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