Estonia's interior minister resigns

This is not the first scandal involving Mart Helme, head of the right-wing populist Ekre party and Estonia's interior minister. But now he has apparently gone too far with claims that the US election was rigged and that US president-elect Joe Biden is part of the "deep state". Estonia's press ponders over what comes next for the government.

Open/close all quotes
Eesti Rahvusringhääling (ERR Online) (EE) /

End this coalition!

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas must finally distance himself from Ekre, media expert Raul Rebane demands on the website of Estonian broadcaster Eesti Rahvusringhääling:

“Compared to Helme's reaction to the US election, the recent scandal in which he wanted to deport homosexuals to Sweden is just a blip. ... Helme has resigned, but Ekre remains in government. However, as far as posterity and the world are concerned it is Jüri Ratas' government, not Ekre's. It does not look good on one's CV to lead a group that preaches Trumpism. After all, Ratas should be interested in his personal image and place in history! If this is not the case and he is only interested in his government coalition, it's all over anyway.”

Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

Ekre in decline

Not only Mart Helme, but also his son, Finance Minister Martin Helme, is a senior member of Ekre. Eesti Päevaleht sees the right-wing populists in decline:

“Now it is no longer just about the Helmes, but about the ability of their family party to fill state posts with competent people. No other party has had such difficulties doing this so far. Now, after a year and a half in government, there should be plenty of suitable people for these jobs, but there is still a lack of candidates who are respected outside the loyal fan club. Are there too few national conservatives, that the Helmes are trying to fob off as national-conservative that is the problem?”