Editorials in Estonia's daily newspapers have been unanimous in viewing Kert Kingo's resignation as IT and foreign trade minister Wednesday evening as the only viable step she could have taken, adding that she had both acted dishonestly and been incompetent on the job.
Daily Postimees, as reported by ERR's online news in Estonian (all links in Estonian unless otherwise noted), said the incident raised the question as to why it is so difficult for EKRE to fill positions, noting she was a symptom of the party's problems.
"During her brief term in office, the minister demonstrated considerable incompetence in her area of government, essentially refusing to fulfill her mandate as a developer of foreign trade and e-government," the paper wrote.
The paper noted that appointing Kingo, who replaced Marti Kuusik who was in the role for just over a day, being forced to leave following media accusations he had engaged in domestic violence, itself had been hard work for the party, which the paper said means finding Kingo's replacement may take some time.
Postimees also pointed out the fudging of the reappointment of Prosecutor General Lavly Perling to a second term, a move which faced opposition from EKRE, was a further example of this lack of direction, given the party had not suggested an alternative candidate to Perling (However on Wednesday evening, almost simultaneous to the Kingo resignation, justice minister Raivo Aeg said he had backed down on Perling's reappointment, which he had previously backed, meaning she will be acting Prosecutor General until a replacement has been found-ed.).
Postimees carried a cartoon with its editorial (see picture) which reads: "I've never before seen such a short-legged minister before" (left hand cat), to which the other replies: "At least she is not a perverted wife-beater."
Daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) said that Kingo's activities, or rather, lack thereof, had cause slow-burning damage to the Estonian state and its economy, ERR's Estonian news reports.
"The formal cause of Kingo's resignation may have been due to twisting the truth, but in any case she was not competent for the role," EPL wrote.
The paper also drew the parallel with the EKRE-led impasse on Lavly Perling's reappointment.
As reported by ERR News already (link in English), daily Õhtuleht posted an editorial Wednesday evening, saying that her resignation was inevitable.
Kingo tendered her resignation to Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) Wednesday evening following revelations she had lied to the Riigikogu on the appointment of an adviser, Jakko Väli.
Väli made various social media posts last week saying he had been hired by Kingo, whose role fell under the Ministry of Economic Affairs' remit. Following a subsequent media furor, Kingo was questioned at length at the Riigikogu Monday. Government ministers do not sit in the Riigikogu but have to appear there regularly to answer questions from MPs.
Social Democratic Party (SDE) leader, independent MP Raimond Kaljulaid and at least two Reform Party MPs all asked her about the appointment, which she denied, saying she had not even met with Väli.
However, economic affairs spokesperson Rasmus Ruuda said Wednesday that Väli had been hired, with Kingo signing a work contract. Standard arrangements had been made for Väli to start work. After another social media outburst, this time directed against former politician Evelyn Sepp, Väli was expelled from the Green Party.
Indrek Saar, Raimond Kaljulaid, and Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas all called for Kingo's resignation on Wednesday afternoon, following the revelations that she had lied to the house.
Editor: Andrew Whyte