Kallas on Helmes' actions: Never seen anything like this before

Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas.
Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

In a brief interview with ERR on Friday morning, Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas said that she had never before seen a situation in which a minister caused trouble in the area of governance of another minister the way Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) did.

According to Kallas, in a situation where the finance minister attempts to fire the director general of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) on behalf of the interior minister without the prime minister's knowledge, the head of government has no choice but to either dismiss the ministers in question or resign together with the entire government.

Neither, she noted, had happened by Friday morning.

"Prime Minister [Jüri] Ratas (Centre) said on 'Aktuaalne kaamera' yesterday that he intends to talk to [Minister of the Interior] Mart Helme (EKRE) once the latter returns from vacation," Kallas said. "This is likewise very strange, as the government's job is 24/7, and the prime minister must talk to the interior minister immediately."

Regarding her own opposition party's next steps, the chairwoman said that Reform's parliamentary group and members of the party board will meet on Saturday to decide what to do going forward.

"In all likelihood we will formally convene the party leadership on Monday and discuss with the parliamentary group whether we can take the next steps," she added.

'Prime minister responsible either way'

In Kallas' opinion, recent events are grounds enough for a no-confidence motion.

"Who is going to be held responsible for this?" she asked. "Will it be the finance minister, who made these moves, or will it be the interior minister, on whose behalf the former made them? In any case, however, the prime minister is also responsible for the work of the government, who should call these ministers to order."

In Martin Helme's case, she recalled, this also marked the second time that he has acted against the wishes of the government, disregarding both government and Riigikogu decisions in the process.

"This seems to be a completely new situation in Estonian politics," the Reform chairwoman said. "I have never heard of a minister causing trouble like this in the area of governance of another minister."

While Kallas admitted to her party having been in touch with the chairmen of the coalition parties, she nonetheless declined to comment further when asked specifically if they had spoken directly with Ratas.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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