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Speaker: Rõivas needs to decide whether or not to resign as deputy

President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE).
President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE). Source: (Siim Lõvi /ERR)

President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE) told ERR’s radio news on Thursday that it is up to Taavi Rõivas (Reform) to decide whether or not he thinks he can continue as the Estonian parliament’s second deputy president following his improper conduct at a party in Malaysia.

“I think we should all be able to behave in a human fashion and with dignity, no matter the situation,” Nestor said. “A politician should know that they are getting more attention.” Nestor called what happened in Malaysia “condemnable” and said that it was now up to Rõivas himself to decide.

“Nobody can decide for him. You have to take into account that as the Riigikogu’s deputy leader he’ll have supporters who gave him his mandate for office. So they need to think as well if letting him continue is the right thing,” Nestor added.

He had talked to Reform Party leader Hanno Pevkur, who is also the chairman of Reform’s group in the Riigikogu, and asked him to come to a decision, Nestor said. “Either the parliamentary group or he himself has to decide, better if he does it himself. This affair doesn’t do any honor to the Riigikogu and its board. It doesn’t do any honor to Enterprise Estonia’s reputation either,” he added.

Rõivas acknowledges complaints and apologizes

Rumours had made rounds on Thursday morning that Rõivas was one of several male members of a trade delegation that had sexually harassed women at a party following the official part of a visit to Malaysia.

Rõivas released a statement on Thursday in which he admitted that there had been complaints about him. He also apologized “personally as well as in the name of all of the delegation” to all those who felt bad after the incident.

Rõivas also added an apology to his wife and children. Concerning the details of what happened, Rõivas said that there was an agreement “not to go along with speculations” about what had happened, and that he intended to stick to this agreement.

Rõivas headed a trade delegation to Singapore and Malaysia that left for a ten-day trip on Sep. 18. The events described allegedly took place at a party in a Kuala Lumpur bar after the official part of the visit ended on Sep. 21.

Rõivas was accompanied by his wife Luisa, who left for a holiday in Bali on Sep. 20 while he carried on with the delegation.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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