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Prime Minister Andrus Ansip replied to the interpellation (No. 2) concerning the Government’s plan to release Harju County Governor Värner Lootsmann from office in connection with his alleged offence in exercising supervision over the building permit of the Sakala Centre, submitted on 18 April by Members of the Riigikogu Lauri Laasi and Evelyn Sepp.

Prime Minister explained that the County Governor had the discretion: to decide whether to exercise supervision or not. But if he decided to exercise supervision, he had to carry it out with the relevant thoroughness. “The claims that somebody is being pushed out of office at any price are inappropriate and groundless. The Chancellor of Justice as well as the Government have very thoroughly described the appropriate as well as the actual behaviour of the County Governor. He has also received a disciplinary punishment for his insufficient diligence regarding his tasks,” Mr. Ansip said. Prime Minister quoted the Chancellor of Justice: “I found that as the County Governor has not assessed the material legality of the building permit, i.e. its conformity with the detailed planning, the supervision has not been exercised to the extent provided by the Government of the Republic Act.” Thus the County Governor has not exercised supervision in the way a dutiful County Governor must exercise it in the interests of the state, Prime Minister stated.

Toomas Tõniste asked the Prime Minister to express his opinion about the County Governor’s personal decision to impose restrictions on the sale of alcohol in Harjumaa. Mr. Ansip admitted that this manner of decision-making was most definitely not acceptable. Prime Minister explained that the coming of summer was not news to anybody, neither was the upcoming Child Protection Day. “I do not consider normal a situation where a state official fails to consult with the Minister of Regional Affairs or other competent persons or institutions. But the legitimacy of the County Governor’s Directive will be assessed and the relevant results reached in the near future, within a week, the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister replied to three more interpellations: to the interpellation (No. 1) concerning the maintenance of the forests located in the unreformed state land in the field of administration of the city of Tallinn, submitted on 18 April by Members of the Riigikogu Rein Ratas, Evelyn Sepp, Mailis Reps, Kalev Kallo, Enn Eesmaa, Jüri Ratas, Olga Sõtnik, Helle Kalda, Vilja Savisaar and Nelli Privalova; to the interpellation (No. 3) concerning the waste of taxpayer’s money by the Bureau of the Minister of Ethnic Affairs, submitted on 19 April by Members of the Riigikogu Olga Sõtnik and Lauri Laasi; to the interpellation (No. 6) concerning the circumstances related to the removal of the monument in Tõnismäe, submitted on 30 April by Members of the Riigikogu Rein Ratas, Aadu Must, Arvo Sarapuu, Jaak Aab, Kalle Laanet, Olga Sõtnik, Jüri Ratas, Vladimir Velman, Eldar Efendijev, Jaan Kundla, Inara Luigas, Kadri Must, Lauri Laasi, Toomas Varek, Helle Kalda, Valeri Korb, Tiit Kuusmik, Heimar Lenk, Marika Tuus, Evelyn Sepp, Aivar Riisalu and Ain Seppik.

Minister of Regional Affairs Vallo Reimaa replied to the interpellation (No. 4) concerning the management of documents by the leaders of the town of Keila and proprietary obligations of the town, submitted on 19 April by Members of the Riigikogu Aivar Riisalu, Kalle Laanet, Mailis Reps and Tiit Kuusmik.

The verbatim record (in Estonian) can be found at: https://www.riigikogu.ee/?op=steno

The Riigikogu Press Service