Mart Laar Bank of Estonia supervisory board list voted down at Riigikogu

A candidate list for the new Bank of Estonia supervisory board submitted by former prime minister Mart Laar was rejected in a Riigikogu vote Tuesday, Baltic News Service reports. His appointees met with opposition, for instance from the Reform Party, who had their own favored candidate who did not make the cut.

Laar, as supervisory board chair, had submitted a draft resolution comprising Centre Party MP Enn Eesmaa, academics Kaie Kerem and Enn Listra, former supervisory board member Rein Minka, former Social Democratic Party MEP Ivari Padar, former Reform MP Jaanus Tamkivi and economist Urmas Varblane as incoming members of the supervisory board of the central bank.

Four of these, Kerem, Listra, Tamkivi and Varblane, sat on the outgoing supervisory board.

However, the resolution was defeated 74 votes to 18 at the 101-seat Riigikogu, in a secret ballot, BNS reports.

The previous supervisory board's term at the Bank of Estonia ended in February.

Laar told the parliamentary finance committee earlier this month that as it is his responsibility as chairman of the supervisory board to reduce political pressure, he had not nominated new members for the supervisory board during the run up to the March 3 general election, to allow the previous supervisory board to continue its work and appoint to office the new governor and deputy governors at the bank.

Laar also said that had not consulted with any political party on the appointment of the members of the supervisory board. However, critics said that this consultation was in fact required.

Opposition Reform Party MP Jürgen Ligi, a member of the finance committee, said that in choosing the new members of the supervisory board, Laar had ignored parliamentary best practices in not consulting with parliamentary parties before voting the new board.

Reform's leader Kaja Kallas said her party could not back the proposal as it had not been negotiated with them, was politically unbalanced and didn't contain a sufficient proportion of experts.

Reform also favored Andres Sutt as its representative on the supervisory board, rather than Jaanus Tamkivi.

Mart Laar became supervisory board chair in 2013. In June this year, he requested two supervisory board members be replaced. One of these, Kalev Kallo of the Centre Party was one of the co-defendants in the long-running corruption case involving former Tallinn mayor Edgar Savisaar, who had had his parliamentary immunity stripped.

The supervisory board appointed Madis Müller governor in February, to replace the outgoing Ardo Hansson.

Mart Laar was the first prime minister of Estonia following the restoration of independence, 1992 to 1994 and again from 1999-2002.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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