Estonia’s interior minister resigns amid uproar over US elections comments

Estonia’s far-right interior minister, Mart Helme has resigned over the comments he made about president-elect Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. 

“Last night I decided to resign looking at the slander and lies produced by the Estonian media,” Helme said during a press conference on Monday. He added that neither the Prime Ministers nor the President or journalists can “muzzle him.”

Helme, a member of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) and his son, Martin, who is currently serving as Estonia’s Finance Minister, questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s victory in a radio interview broadcast on Sunday, describing Biden as a “corrupt character” who won the elections thanks to the “deep state,” failing, however, to provide any evidence or details. 

“I am tired. I did nothing yesterday that would endanger Estonia’s security. I have not said anything that has not already been told by the American media, the American free media,” Helme added. 

Reacting to the comments, Estonia’s President, Kersti Kaljulaid stated that she’s “sad and embarrassed” by the comments, which described as a “verbal assault” and as “an attack against Estonian democracy and security.” 

On Sunday, Estonia’s Prime Minister, Juri Ratas urged Helme and his son Martin to stop issuing “absurd” comments which were seen as harming US-Estonia relations. In a Facebook post Ratas congratulated Biden, stressing that the US elections were “fair, free and transparent.” 

“Mart and Martin Helme’s speeches on assessing the US election results are not serious and are even absurd,” Ratas’ post reads. He added that “the members of the Estonian government must remain balanced by commenting on our biggest ally’s internal politics. Mart and Martin Helme must immediately stop undermining relations between Estonia and USA.” 

The day after, he issued a statement saying that “in the current situation, Mart Helme’s resignation is the only way for the government to continue its work, including foreign policy goals.” 

 

 


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