Estonia: far right blocks chief prosecutor

The governing coalition in Estonia is facing its first test: the far-right coalition partner Ekre is refusing to endorse a second term for Prosecutor General Lavly Perling. Party leader Mart Helme has accused her of having a conflict of interest because her husband works for the country's Internal Security Service. But is there more to the story?

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Eesti Rahvusringhääling (ERR Online) (EE) /

Nothing but a tit-for-tat response

This whole thing could just be a tit-for-tat response on the part of Ekre's leader, ERR suspects:

“The right-wing extremists blame Lavly Perling for IT Minister Marti Kuusik's having to step down after just 30 hours in office because the media had accused him of domestic violence. After that the prosecution launched an investigation. On June 3 Mart Helme told parliament that the charges must be dropped due to the lack of evidence and witnesses. So it must have come as a slap in the face for him when the prosecutor's office announced just a week later that the investigation would be reopened. ... Now it's up to Prime Minister Ratas to show whether he can get what he wants and keep the prosecutor general - whose professionalism no one questions - in office, or whether he will submit to the 'deep state' theory of the far right.”

Õhtuleht (EE) /

No compromise in sight

Ekre isn't helping matters by blocking a second term for the chief prosecutor, Õhtuleht writes:

“One wonders who would replace her. And whether a compromise candidate would really be the most competent person for the job - or just the most convenient. As long as Ekre doesn't present its own proposal no conclusions can be drawn. We've already seen with the lowering of the alcohol tax which, contrary to the original plan makes access to hard liquor easier, that reaching a consensus at any cost doesn't necessarily lead to a sensible solution.”