Mart Saarso, a member of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) who is running for election to the Riigikogu next March, called Tallinn City Council chairman Mihhail Kõlvart (Centre) an Asian who is unfit for the hall at City Council.
"That Asian himself is totally unfit for that hall," Saarso wrote in a comment below a photo of Kõlvart on social media.
Speaking to ERR, Saarso, who is likely to receive second billing in EKRE in Hiiu, Lääne and Saare Counties in the March 2019 Riigikogu elections, explained that his comment was motivated by Kõlvart's decision not to allow a full-sized Estonian flag in the hall of Tallinn City Council.
"That is spitting in the face of the Estonian people," Saarso said. "The capital city is in the hands of migrants. That is certainly not how these things go."
Kõlvart himself declined to comment on the matter, stating that he had already shared his comments on the flag issue.
EKRE chairman Mart Helme told ERR that he had not read Saarso's comment on social media, but he found that Kõlvart had been in the wrong. "The national flag of Estonia is suitable everywhere," he said.
Helme added that he had not discussed the comment in question with Saarso.
Controversy over flag placement
In late August, the Reform Party group introduced a bill according to which an Estonian flag would permanently be on display in the hall of Tallinn City Council. Kõlvart rejected the bill, citing that there was not enough room in the hall for a large flag.
Two weeks ago, however, the flag was gifted nonetheless, under the leadership of members of the Reform Party.
Reform Party group chairman Kristen Michal gave a speech and placed the flag behind the podium. Kõlvart allowed for the flag to remain there for the remainder of the meeting.
"This spot was chosen so that every council member who comes to the podium stands with their back to the flag," Kõlvart said in criticism of the place chosen for the flag. He added, however, that a better spot would be chosen for the flag together.
Saarso's comment on social media. Source: ERR
Editor: Aili Vahtla