Savisaar mights reshape Tallinn port's board

  • 2005-08-31
  • Staff and wire reports
TALLINN - Economic Affairs Minister Edgar Savisaar has reportedly drawn up plans for a three-member board at Tallinna Sadam (Port of Tallinn), with several analysts saying that the posts would be distributed among the three coalition parties.

The Postimees reported that several individuals connected with the port claimed that Savisaar, who leads the Center Party, had proposed the idea to coalition parties.

According to the discussed scheme, the Center Party, the biggest force in the coalition, would receive the post of board chairman, with the two remaining posts going to the Reform Party and the People's Union.

As the Postimees wrote, such a division would politicize the company's board, while the supervisory council would be stripped of its functions.

Savisaar admitted he was planning to reduce the number of board members to three, but he said information about splitting up port leadership among ruling parties was rumor.

"Five board members is too much for the port," said Heido Vitsur, adviser to the minister. "As for the persons, they will be found by means of public advertisements, and it is not forbidden for the CEO of the company to belong to a party. All the parties may nominate their candidates in case of a three-member board."

Indrek Raudne, former member of the supervisory council of the port and a member of the Res Publica party, said Savisaar's plans were idiotic. "The idea is dangerous and despicable in substance, because political failures and stooges would be installed to head the company," he said.

Margus Leivo, a current member of the port's supervisory council and a member of the People's Union, said he was aware of the rumors. "It is clear that five board members are too many, but there's no room for political games in the port," Leivo said.

"Off the record, the supervisory council has discussed the issue of the board. Concerning persons, the People's Union certainly does not see the issue so that each member of the coalition should have one seat," Leivo said.

The port's previous three-member board was extended to five after Res Publica ascended to power in 2003.

After the dismissal of board chairman Mart Tooming, board member Ain Kaljurand has been selected as CEO.