Long-serving official Ahti Kuningas has been nominated Secretary General of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
Kuningas has worked at the ministry since 1999 and is current undersecretary for transport, and his candidacy is sponsored by the two relevant ministers, Riina Sikkut (SDE), who is Minister for Economic Affairs and Communications, and Kristjan Järvan (Isamaa), IT and foreign trade minister.
Sikkut told ERR Monday that: "Kristjan Järvan and I have made a proposal to the state secretary regarding Ahti Kuningas, namely that the selection committee for top managers could recommend him."
The committee in questions is a part of the Government Office and must give its opinion on candidates to top civil service posts, ahead of approval by the cabinet.
The post has been vacant since May 9 when previous secretary general, Ando Leppiman, went to work as a board member at the Estonian Stockpiling Agency.
Kuningas has been undersecretary for transport at the ministry since 2015, and is also a board member at RB Rail, the Estonian arm of the Rail Baltica high-speed rail link project, the state-onwed Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam), cargo rail operator Operail and, formerly, Estonian Air, the now-defunct former national air carrier.
Portal Delfi noted that Kuningas has in his career been involved, even insofar as being the effective "architect", in several high-profile state-related processes, such as the bankruptcy of Estonian Air and the setting-up of its replacement Nordica and its X-Fly subsidiary, as well as the Rail Baltica project, which is reportedly now going to be subject to delay – the high-speed rail link was originally due to start operating in 2026.
Editor: Andrew Whyte