Reinsalu shouldn't resign, finds IRL chairman ({{commentsTotal}})

Helir-Valdor Seeder.
Helir-Valdor Seeder. Source: (Siim Lõvi /ERR)

Chairman of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), Helir-Valdor Seeder, said on Friday that Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) shouldn't resign. Reinsalu has performed his duties "very well" and has apologized for the remarks about women he made in a recent statement on social media, Seeder said.

"There is no reason for him to resign," Seeder told BNS on Friday. "And concerning a potential no-confidence motion, let's wait and see if the motion is filed."

Seeder pointed out that there have recently been several threats by the opposition to move against ministers, including Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, but that only a motion against Simson was handed in, and that one failed.

"We should try not to get ahead of ourselves. Let's see if there is a motion at all," Seeder said.

Seeder also pointed out that Reinsalu made an apology for what he said in his statement.

In what became an opinion piece in daily Päevaleht, Reinsalu, referring to a similar piece published in 2016 in which he condemned violence against women in connection with the case of NO99 director Tiit Ojasoo's assault on a colleague, said that he now regrets having done so.

Reactions were immediate. 19 women members of the Riigikogu issued a statement condemning Reinsalu's words, including six members of the Social Democrats, and three from senior coalition member, the Center Party.

The statement was backed by the opposition parties' women as well, though no IRL member signed it.

After a meeting with Ratas, Reinsalu offered a public apology for his statement. Still, the Reform Party demanded that Reinsalu resign by Monday, or they would file a motion of no confidence against him.

Such a motion could be successful if it gets the backing of all of the opposition parties, as independents as well as coalition members have already announced that they would back the move.

Debate following choice of NO99 theatre for centennial reception continues

Reinsalu made the statement following the public debate around the choice of the NO99 theatre and director Tiit Ojasoo for the cultural part of this year's Independence Day reception. Ojasoo made headlines in 2016 when it became public that he had shoved a female colleague into the snow, and kicked her twice in the stomach and thighs.

The victim went to the police at the time, but the matter was eventually settled between the parties already before it became public. Ojasoo at the time said that he was sorry, and followed the actions he was required to take in accordance with the compromise agreement he and the victim had signed. The investigation against him for assault was canceled.

After the Office of the President's choice of NO99 and Ojasoo to stage the cultural part of the centennial Independence Day reception on Feb. 24, and that the theatre would receive some €300,000 for it, 104 signatories sent a letter to President Kersti Kaljulaid expressing their disappointment in the choice, and pointing out that it sent the wrong signal.

President Kaljulaid backed the decision to commission the work from NO99, and pointed to any society's need for forgiveness, saying that Ojasoo had repented and apologized.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

Source: ERR, BNS



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