The opposition submitted a motion of no confidence against Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu (IRL) on Wednesday. The motion is signed by 47 Riigikogu members, while 51 votes are needed to oust Reinsalu. The vote is scheduled for today Wednesday.
The motion was handed in by Reform Party MP Kalle Laanet. Laanet told ERR that 47 members of the Riigikogu have signed it.
In the explanatory note handed in along with the motion, the MPs state that the immediate reason for their wish to express their lack of confidence in the justice minister is a statement he made in which he said he "regrets having condemned violence against women" in the case of theatre director Tiit Ojasoo.
Ojasoo assaulted a co-worker in January 2016 by shoving her into a snowdrift, and kicking her twice in the stomach and thighs when she was down. Though the matter was settled out of court, a public outcry followed later on in the same year, as Ojasoo and the NO99 theatre are state-funded.
The issue came up again recently after the Office of the President's decision to commission the cultural part of the Feb. 24 centennial Independence Day reception from NO99 and Ojasoo.
An open letter to the president signed by 104 personalities of Estonia's cultural scene condemned the choice, saying that it is sending the wrong signal. While they and many commentators see it as a matter of publicly rewarding and pegging someone to the Estonian centennial whose "apology was less than sincere," as one signatory put it, President Kersti Kaljulaid has made the issue a matter of what she refers to as "a society's need to be able to forgive." The president backs the choice and has so far supported Ojasoo.
Editor: Dario Cavegn