Loodus likely to replace Reimaa

  • 2008-01-17
  • In cooperation with BNS

ON THE WAY OUT? Vallo Reimaa's days in the cabinet look to be numbered.

TALLINN -- The management board of Estonia'sconservative Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) looks likely to replaceRegional Affairs Minister Vallo Reimaa with Tarmo Loodus,the present chairman of the Viljandi City Council.

The agenda of an extraordinary meeting of the extended board scheduled for Jan. 20 includes a recall of the party's representative from the regional affairsminister's post and appointment of a new ministerial candidate. According tounconfirmed information Tarmo Loodus will fill the position.

Mart Laar, chairman of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union, told Baltic News Service that the board ofthe party had discussed the activity of IRL ministers and given a positiveassessment of four ministers' work. But he said a critical stance was takenwith respect to Reimaa, and the parliamentaryparty unanimously asked the minister to step down.

Laar said that Reimaa himself presumed that he would be dismissed by theextended board and for that purpose the extended board had been called forSunday.

Laar added that when the party asked Reimaa to resign, it was because he had failed to live up to their expectations."Although he has not made any major blunder in the public, he hasn't donethe work that would have to be done, and things have not proceeded as well ashave been expected," Laar told BNS.

Laar refused to speculate on whether Loodus would be used to fill the vacant post but said the new regional affairs minister must have local governmentexperience and a clear party background.

Loodus, who has been suggested as a potential candidate, told BNS that he had not madeany official proposal to become a ministerial candidate as discussion was still ongoing.

"I haven't imagined anything like this for me and do not picture itnow. There is no spark in me to return into big politics," said Loodus,but added that you should never say never in the political world.

Loodus, director of the Viljandi Vocational School and chairman of the ViljandiCity Council, has previously been secretary general of the Pro Patria Union,interior minister and mayor of Viljandi.

Speaking at a press conference on Jan. 17, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip saidthat he personally had nothing to reproach the regionalaffairs minister for. But he did not mount much of a defense, saying that he was aware that the IRL had discussed the activity of its ministers and had proposeddismissal for Reimaa.

Ansip said that according to the coalition agreement the regional minister's post belonged to IRL and if theparty decided to propose to dismiss Reimaa, he was preparedto go to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves with the respectiveproposal.

Ministers are dismissed and appointed by the president at the prime minister's recommendation.