Former prime minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) announced in the Riigikogu on Monday that he will step down from his position as deputy president of the Estonian parliament in connection with a scandal related to his improper conduct as part of a delegation to Malaysia.
“There can be moments in a political career when one must assume political responsibility, and today is that moment for me. I am hereby informing you of my resignation as deputy president of the Riigikogu,” Rõivas told his colleagues in parliament.
Rõivas thanked all those who supported him. “I sincerely thank all of you from very different parties, many people who I don’t even know personally but who have supported me in difficult times. Thank you,” Rõivas said.
Rõivas announced on Thursday last week that he would step down, but stay on as member of the Riigikogu. He admitted to undignified behavior towards a woman during a visit to Malaysia, and apologized to the woman, the public, and his family.
Parliamentary procedure stipulates that if a deputy speaker resigns, they are to announce their resignation and the reasons for it at a parliamentary sitting. In the event of a resignation, deputy speakers of the parliament are to continue fulfilling their tasks until the election of a new chairman or deputy chairmen.
The Riigikogu will most likely elect a new deputy president next week on Oct. 23.
Editor: Dario Cavegn