President Kersti Kaljulaid nominated Kert Kingo (EKRE) new foreign trade and IT minister Thursday morning, ERR's online news in Estonian reports, with Kingo taking up the post with the Riigikogu sitting which started at 10:00 a.m..
Kingo was nominated to the role by leader of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) on Monday, meeting with the president Tuesday.
Her appointment replaces Marti Kuusik (EKRE), who resigned at the end of April after one day in office, in the wake of domestic violence allegations. It also brings an end to the search for Kuusik's replacement, which EKRE had initially said it was finding a struggle.
Kert Kingo's résumé
Kert Kingo has a background in law and in 2017 began a master's in business administration at the Estonian Business School (EBS). She was elected to the Riigikogu at the March 3 elections with a little over a thousand votes in the Jõgeva and Tartu County district. She contributed around €3,000 herself, to her campaign.
She joined the party in 2015, according to the party website, or in March 2016, according to the commercial register, and is head of EKRE's anti-corruption committee.
She has worked as a lawyer for both the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA). Anti-corruption work she has engaged in includes invetigations into funds connected with a project at the port of Liu, just outside Pärnu, which, it is claimed, has links to leading members of Isamaa, a party which EKRE is now in office with.
She has also been a staunch critic of what she says is a reticence on the part of both the PPA and the prosecutor's office in combating corruption
"It is a fact that, within our judicial system, the law can be twisted and violated, judgments handed down which are biased, and the PPA together with the prosecutor's office initiate and carry out procedures selectively. People are being treated inequitably – where one person's actions are perceived as a violation, but in another case, a blind eye is turned,'' she said in a midweek interview.
She was also critical of the handling of the case of her predecessor, Marti Kuusik, in the media, noting that journalism should not deal with simply rumor, but rather established facts and evidence.
Kingo also has an educational background in dance and music, including playing the accordion, and reports hobbies and interests including her family's Skye Terrier dog, Daffi, who has also won competitive awards, she says.
Calls for Kuusik's replacement to be a woman followed in the light of the allegations against him, which became the subject of a PPA investigation shortly before he resigned.
Editor: Andrew Whyte