New culture minister: Kuusik resignation was inevitable

Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa).
Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa). Source: ERR

Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa), recently appointed minister of culture, said in an interview with ERR that resignation of Marti Kuusik, a minister for EKRE who was forced to step down immediately after he assumed office, was inevitable giving the nature of the accusations he faced. Kuusik is under investigation for incidents of domestic violence.

"The suspicions are very serious, and they would hamper anyone working at the forefront of public life," Lukas said commenting on Kuusik's case. "I think there was nothing else left for him to do than to resign," he added.

"I believe that he could have made that decision earlier on as well, to settle the matter already before the government was sworn in," Lukas told ERR. "He now has the opportunity to defend himself in court, if the matter makes it that far anyway. But it's obvious that given the suspicions, he wouldn't have been able to work in government. So his resignation was inevitable," the minister said.

It turned out last week that Marti Kuusik, candidate of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) for the position of minister of foreign trade and IT, had been caught speeding and with trace alcohol in his blood on March 4.

On 30 April the police and prosecutor's office initiated criminal proceedings against Kuusik in a physical abuse case to look into a story by weekly Eesti Ekspress. The paper wrote earlier that Kuusik allegedly physically abused his wife on several occasions. The investigation is headed by the Viru district prosecutor's office.

As a consequence of the suspicions against him and because of mounting public and political opposition, Kuusik resigned as minister on Tuesday, May 1.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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