Estonian interior minister not returning prime minister's calls

Lauri Läänemets (SDE).
Lauri Läänemets (SDE). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) said that the prime minister's opposition to the proposed candidate for the new director general of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) is forcing him to propose a new one. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform), however, complained that Läänemets isn't responding to her phone calls.

"As the prime minister publicly stated last week that she would not support my chosen candidate, then so it is, I suppose, that I'll propose a new one," Läänemets told online news portal Delfi.

"There has to be support within the coalition," he continued, adding that he would propose a new candidate by next week.

To date, the interior minister had proposed Veiko Kommusaar, the Interior Ministry's current undersecretary for internal security, as the new head of the PPA — a candidacy he is now retracting.

Läänemets said that he is considering two existing candidates — current PPA deputy directors general Egert Belitšev and Krista Aas — but is also keeping an eye on potential new names as well.

"There are quite a number of very good people in Estonia who could lead this institution," he acknowledged.

He also said that the existing candidates have great potential to become the next PPA chief.

In an appearance on Vikerraadio's "Stuudios on peaminister" on Tuesday, however, Kallas said that Läänemets had not yet proposed a new candidate and that no progress has been made on finding a new director foe the PPA.

"The minister of the interior hasn't put forth a new candidate," the prime minister said. "So he told me, anyway, that he would be starting fresh, although in my opinion all of the candidates are entirely reasonable candidates, but yesterday, for example, I couldn't get ahold of the interior minister."

Program host Arp Müller asked her if the interior minister seriously wasn't taking the prime minister's calls.

"Yes," she confirmed. "I guess he's busy. Should his asviser hear this, perhaps he'll give me a call."

Co-host Mirko Ojakivi mentioned he'd heard Kristian Jaani brought up as the potential new candidate for PPA chief.

"I believe Kristian Jaani is also a very good candidate and a great doer," Kallas said. "But right now that ball is in the interior minister's hands, who should be putting a candidate forth."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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