TALLINN - The motion of no-confidence initiated by the opposition parties against Minister of Finance and leader of the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) Martin Helme failed in the Estonian parliament on Monday.
The motion was supported by 46 MPs with no votes against and no neutral votes. Altogether 100 MPs were present and one was absent.
A majority of 51 votes is needed in the 101-seat chamber to remove a minister in a confidence vote.
Among the MPs in favor of expressing no confidence in the finance minister were 45 members of the opposition and Viktoria Ladonskaja-Kubits, MP of the Isamaa party, the junior partner in the government coalition.
Introducing the motion, Reform Party MP Marko Mihkelson said that during Helme's term in office, the minister has purposefully caused harm to Estonia's security, international image and important allied relations.
The opposition said in its motion that Helme has called into question the reliability of Estonian elections and independence of Estonia's democratic institutions and has knowingly been sowing mistrust in the foundations of Estonia as a democratic state. Martin Helme has also disrupted the society and attacked various social groups, the motion reads.
"The minister of finance, Martin Helme, and minister of the interior, Mart Helme, in their declaration following the US presidential election severely attacked the democratic elections of the United States, Estonia's main security partner and ally. They attacked our most important ally's right to domestic political self-determination and the newly elected president himself. Mart and Martin Helme's unfounded accusations alleging election fraud in the United States and their personal attacks on President-elect Joseph R. Biden are unsubstantiated, immoral and completely inappropriate for members of the government. With this declaration, Mart and Martin Helme have caused extremely severe harm to Estonia's foreign and security policy interests," the opposition parties said.
The protection of human rights, minorities and the rule of law lies at the heart of Estonia's foreign policy. By attacking Estonia's foreign policy course and the general principles of liberal democracy, Martin Helme has undermined the reliability of Estonia as a democracy based on the rule of law in the eyes of its EU and NATO allies, signatories to the motion said
Time and again, Helme has also mounted attacks on the separation of powers, independent investigation, fair justice and the media.
"Considering the above, it is clear that Martin Helme is not fit to hold office, and for that reason we propose that the Riigikogu express no confidence in the finance minister," the motion reads.