State company CEO resigns following insulting remark about minister
Urmas Somelar, CEO of state real estate management company Riigi Kinnisvara AS (RKAS), handed in his resignation on Thursday following criticism after a remark he made about Minister of Education Mailis Reps (Center) earlier this month.
Somelar had said in a meeting that took place at RKAS that Reps, who recently gave birth to a daughter, was “pregnant in the head” and suggested that her judgement was impaired due to her personal situation.
In his letter of resignation, Somelar hinted at difficulties with several ministers’ attitudes towards the management of state property being the reason for his decision. There had been a “media show” coordinated with Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) that followed his remarks, which Somelar said had been “unfortunate”.
Somelar insinuated that his “resolute opposition” to accept financial damage to RKAS arising from a ministerial decision concerning a property in Tartu had triggered this backlash.
Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab disagrees. Aab said Somelar was misleading the public, and that his resignation was not linked with the sale of the Tartu property, but solely with his insulting remarks about the minister of education.
In a Thursday press release Aab said that Somelar's resignation was the right step, and recognized Somelar’s assuming responsibility for his actions.
“Urmas Somelar is however misleading the public with his reasoning. My proposal for Somelar to resign was linked with his unethical behavior, which was not appropriate for the head of a state company. As this was not the first incident of its kind, I saw no other option in this situation,” Aab was quoted.
Editor: Dario Cavegn