Estonian Parliament removes defense commander

  • 2006-11-14
  • By TBT staff
The Estonian parliament on Nov. 14 decided to remove Vice Adm. Tarmo Kouts from his position as commander of defense forces. The motion, initiated by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, was passed 69-1 in parliament. A total of 31 parliamentarians abstained. Only People's Union Mp Jaak Allik voted against the measure.

Kouts turned in his resignation in August, saying he planned to run in the March parliamentary elections in the Pro Patria and Res Public Union center-right opposition party.

Ilves began talking to the parliamentary parties on replacing the commander of the defense forces this month. He has met three candidates for the post: Brig. Gen. Vello Loemaa, Maj. Gen. Ants Laaneots and Brig. Gen. Alar Laneman.
The candidate for the new commander will be nominated on Nov. 16 after Ilves meets with the prime minister and the National Defense Council.

Laaneots, who currently heads the Estonian Defense College, will most likely take the position. His nomination has been backed by all parties that have met with the president.