Opmann gives up bid for central bank governor

  • 2000-06-01
TALLINN (ETA) - The rejected Bank of Estonia presidential candidate Mart Opmann told the press on May 29 that he would give up running for the post because of too much public pressure.

According to Aripaev Online news service, Opmann said that he did not want to get mixed up in court processes against the state Audit Office and Estonia's president, Lennart Meri.

Opmann said that Chancellor of Justice Erik-Juhan Truuv>=li refused to give an opinion on the dispute between the central bank council and President Meri as well as on the accusations of the State Audit Office, saying that a court should give an opinion on the matter. Opmann said he did not wish to get involved in a long-term legal dispute.

President Lennart Meri rejected Opmann, who had been selected by the central bank council as the Bank of Estonia's next president, claiming that his reputation and competence did not meet the requirements of the post.

Meri gave the bank council until June 19 to find a new and acceptable candidate. Meri stated that Opmann's approval would have contradicted his idea of the best interests of the country.

"A bank president has to be found, who enjoys total confidence of the Estonian people and the international financial institutions," Meri said.

State Audit Office chief Juhan Parts accused Opmann of scandals during Opmann's term of office as the finance minister, including suspected ties between officials and Uhispank, the investment of state funds in the shaky Maapank and the failed introduction of the Aggresso accounting software in the government institutions.

The central bank council was slated to meet on June 1 to continue discussing the situation around the central bank president's post.