Minister of Finance and deputy chairman of the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE), Martin Helme, said that being caught lying will end a politician's career very quickly.
Speaking about EKRE minister Kert Kingo, former IT and Foreign Trade minister, who resigned on Thursday and the resulting fallout, Helme said: "People and journalists in general believe that all politicians are crooks, thieves and liars. But actually this is not true. Generally speaking, if we look at what will end a politician's career very quickly and resolutely, it's being caught in a very unambiguous act of lying to the public."
Helme said Kingo did not want to become a minister and it was the party that asked her to take the post in a difficult situation.
"She came to the party's aid, she has been receiving the highest amount of criticism from day one, speaking of all ministers, not only those of the present government. The pressure that she has been under has been extraordinary," Helme said while appearing on ETV's Esimene stuudio program,
"And maybe that led to the hapless mistake or error in her choice of personnel and the inadequacy resulting from that mistake, error," he added.
"Lying is wrong. What opinion can there be," Helme said when asked about his opinion of Kingo's behavior.
He said EKRE wants Kingo to take up a seat on the party's governing board.
Kingo fell under criticism after she publicly denied having been in contact with Jakko Vali, then a member of the Green Party, in connection with a plan to hire him as her adviser. Vali was expelled by the Greens earlier this week after posting indecent comments about former Center Party MP Evelyn Sepp on social media.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, however, said on Wednesday that Kingo had herself made a proposal at the ministry for the conclusion of an employment contract with Jakko Vali and the agreement to hire Vali as adviser to her was actually concluded.
The employment contract concluded by Kingo with Jakko Vali was revoked based on a wish expressed by Jakko Vali on Oct. 19, the ministry said according to Postimees.
Editor: Helen Wright