Chairman of the Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson (Reform Party) on Monday said he will resign his post in the wake of his pictures scandal.
"Even though the public attack on me and my family is unfair and underhanded, I have decided to resign as chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee to retain a constructive environment. Estonia needs a domestically unified and security-centered foreign policy," Mihkelson wrote.
He added that he does not plan to leave the field of foreign and security policy and will run in the March general elections in the district of Harju and Rapla counties.
Mihkelson's decision has delivered the Reform Party from under fire, with the party's whip Mart Võrklaev commending the politician for a statesmanlike decision.
"I understand Marko's decision not to take part in this political mudslinging contest and protect his family. A statesmanlike move. Marko Mihkelson has contributed to the development of Estonia's foreign and security policy over the years and will continue to do so in the future," Võrklaev said.
Postimees and Delfi ran articles within an hour of one another on November 27 revealing that Reform MP Marko Mihkelson had taken inappropriate pictures of a minor. Mihkelson has said that the scandal is part of a child custody battle.
Vice President of the Riigikogu Martin Helme (EKRE) pulled all of Mihkelson's planned foreign trips last week as MPs' assignments abroad need to be okayed by the entire Board of the Riigikogu.
The Riigikogu Foreign Affairs Committee has nine members. Five are from the coalition (Marko Mihkelson, Eerik-Niiles Kross, Mihhail Lotman, Valdo Randpere and Indrek Saar) and four from the opposition (Enn Eesmaa, Maria Jufereva-Skuratovski, Henn Põlluaas, Mailis Reps).
Editor: Marcus Turovski