Estonia’s far-right trade and IT minister resigns

By bne IntelliNews October 25, 2019

Kert Kingo, Estonia’s minister of trade and IT, resigned on October 23 following accusations of lying to the parliament on the issue of hiring a controversial advisor.

Kingo, who belongs to the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE), the far-right party that is in the ruling coalition with the Centre Party, said that “in the current situation, I do not consider it possible to continue as a minister," ERR reported.

The now-former minister caused controversy after denying she had met or otherwise contacted her advisor Jakko Vali about working for her. However, the Estonian media reported that Kingo had, in fact, requested Vali’s employment. 

Also caught in the political storm, Vali took to social media with a series of offensive posts, the Estonian media reported.

“I commend Minister Kingo for a difficult decision, but in the current situation it was clear that it would be very difficult to continue in office, for herself, her party, and the entire government," Prime Minister Juri Ratas said, according to ERR.

The far-right EKRE became a surprise coalition partner to Ratas’s Centre Party in April despite the prime minister previously ruling out cooperation because of EKRE’s anti-immigrant views.

Running a strongly anti-immigrant campaign, EKRE more than doubled its support in Estonia in the March election. That made Ratas change his mind as he sought majority in the parliament after he turned down a coalition offer from Estonia’s largest party, the Reform Party.

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