Reform MP to 'Pealtnägija': I'm staying in politics for the time being
Reform MP and chair of the Riigikogu's foreign affairs committee Marko Mihkelson, who has been at the center of a media allegations which broke at the end of last week, told ETV's "Pealtnägija" that he plans to continue in politics for the time being, and has not yet made a final decision on the longer term.
Mihkelson told the show, which broadcasts in its entirety just after 8 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, that: "I wouldn't want this story to set a precedent whereby it becomes facile to cancel people, and easy to remove them from public life via these types of attacks," adding that he has received many statements of support in the past few days.
As to his political future, Mihkelson said: "I haven't made a final decision, but I know that many of my voters want to see me continue to stand up for Estonian interests within Estonia's foreign and security policy," adding that he will continue in politics in the meantime.
Daily Postimees, who broke the allegations, justify that on the grounds that not doing so would have left Mihkelson wide open to potential blackmail.
Mihkelson himself denied any such possible outcome, telling "Pealtnägija" that: "All those who had to get acquainted with this story, especially those who are tasked with ensuring Estonia's security, analyzing security risks, and including those who operate within Estonia's security policy, were aware of it and formulated their own decisions accordingly."
"I have never felt blackmailed. I have only felt blackmailed by one individual, namely the father of Tuuli's (Mihkelson's wife - ed.) children."
ERR journalist Mihkel Kärmas also quizzed Mihkelson on what role he had had in relation to the political decisions on the matter, before the scandal became public, given Mihkelson has been talked about as possible ministerial candidate in the past, though has not to date received any portfolio.
"Any civil lawsuit filed and disseminated, discussed, could influence the decision, and in this sense, I am not in any way criticizing the prime minister's decision at the time, nor the fact that many people were unaware of it at the time," Mihkelson went on.
As to the interviewer's suggestion that critics may interpret the decision of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and the Reform Party not to appoint Mihkelson as a minister as equating to their assessment that Mihkelson's actions were not acceptable, he replied: "Instead, the question is not whether what happened is not okay, but rather more that there was a dispute, and I think it has become clear by today - and we have been talking about it - that these attacks carry with them a very large undertone of injustice."
Last Thursday, Postimees and also portal Delfi reported that Mihkelson had allegedly taken inappropriate pictures of children. Mihkelson says that behind these allegations is a dispute over the custody of the same children.
The full-length "Pealtnägija" interview airs on ETV at 8.05 p.m. Estonian time, Wednesday, November 2.
Interviewer Mihkel Kärmas will be speaking to Marko and Tuuli Mihkelson, with lawyer Maria Mägi-Rohtmets representing the opposing party (in the custody case).
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Editor: Andrew Whyte