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IRL to support police chief's confirmation after all

Police and Border Guard Board Director General Elmar Vaher.
Police and Border Guard Board Director General Elmar Vaher. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Junior coalition partner Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) decided on Wednesday "not to veto" the confirmation in office of the Police and Border Guard's director-general, Elmar Vaher. In what some parties have called a desperate attempt to do something against its ailing approval ratings, IRL earlier delayed the confirmation of two directors-general of the security authorities and forced the temporary demotion of Vaher.

Because Vaher's last term expired on May 2, he is currently and until his confirmation by the government set for today only acting director-general of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).

Interior Minister Andres Anvelt (SDE) was forced last week to take the confirmation of both Vaher and Internal Security Service chief Arnold Sinisalu off the agenda, as IRL chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder announced his party otherwise wouldn't support Vaher.

IRL's reasoning turned from pointing to "leadership mistakes" concerning the skyrocketing costs of border infrastructure construction to the party's objection to Minister Anvelt's apparent failure to get in touch again before adding Vaher's confirmation to the agenda of last week's government meeting.

Anvelt as well as several IRL MPs and security politicians in the Riigikogu pointed out that both Vaher and Sinisalu's confirmation had previously been agreed on with the relevant committees as well as the parliamentary groups.

This has prompted some MPs to speculate that IRL's maneuver concerning Vaher wasn't so much connected to the exploding costs of the modernization of the eastern border, but rather with yet another attempt to get attention and perhaps do something about the fact that in recent polls, IRL has slipped below the 5-percent election threshold.

Vaher and Sinisalu are expected to be confirmed as originally intended in today Thursday's government meeting.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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