Interior minister and Reform disagreement delays search for new PPA chief

Lauri Läänemets, and Mart Võrklaev
Lauri Läänemets, and Mart Võrklaev Source: ERR

The search for a new head of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) continues, as Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets (SDE) and the Reform parliamentary group remain unable to reach a consensus.

Läänemets told ERR, that he plans to meet with all the parliamentary groups in the Riigikogu to discuss the issue of the PPA's next director general and present them with his favored candidate for the role.

This week, Läänemets had been set to meet with the Reform parliamentary group, which is believed to be the only one in the Riigikogu opposed to the interior minister's choice of current interior ministry deputy secretary Veiko Kommusaare for the position. The meeting, however, did not take place.

Reform's Riigikogu whip Mart Võrklaev told ERR on Thursday, that the reason it had not gone ahead was due to a cancellation by Läänemets.

The Minister of the Interior confirmed, that he had cancelled the meeting, though explained to ERR, that he had done so because Reform wanted to meet him alone, while he wished to invite Kommusaare to attend alongside him.

Läänemets said, that as the only objection to his preferred candidate had come from Reform, he wanted to discuss the issue with members of the party's parliamentary group first. The minister added, that a new opportunity to hold the meeting would now be sought.

Läänemets also intends to meet with the other parliamentary groups to present his candidate.

The Director General of the PPA is appointed by the government based on a proposal from the interior minister. However, traditionally, the appointment is also approved by the Riigikogu's Legal Affairs Committee, which is why it is considered good practice to first present the candidate to all the parliamentary groups.

The term of office of the current Director General of the PPA, Elmar Vaher, is due to expire next May.

The confrontation between Läänemets and Reform over the appointment of the new PPA chief is believed to stem from a difference of opinion between the interior minister and the selection committee, which has nominated current PPA deputy directors Krista Aas and Egert Belitšev for the role.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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