In Estonia, a huge scandal erupted with the accusation of the ruling party and its head, Prime Minister Juri Ratas, of corruption and money laundering.
Against this background, Ratas was forced to announce his resignation from the post of head of government and the termination of the existence of the government coalition.
Together with the Prime Minister, the entire Estonian government will resign.
Jüri Ratas announced the decision to leave the post of Prime Minister today, January 13. He explained that he had accepted it after consulting with the party’s board and the parliamentary faction, as well as “on the basis of his values.”
“This morning I will deliver my letter of resignation to the President (Kersti Kaljulaid). With my statement, the current government coalition ceases to exist, ”the prime minister told reporters on Wednesday morning.
Ratas, the leader of the ruling Center Party, has led the Estonian government since November 2016.
On Tuesday, January 12, the Center Party headed by Ratas, as well as five Estonian citizens connected in one way or another with the party, were accused of corruption.
General secretary of the party Mikhail Korb, adviser to the minister of finance Kersti Kracht, businessman Hillar Teder are suspected of criminal actions. The names of two more suspects have not yet been named. Four suspects have already been detained by the police.
According to the leading state prosecutor Taavi Pern, the investigation has information that in 2020 between the entrepreneur Hillar Teder and the general secretary of the Center Party Mikhail Korb, an agreement was established on Teder’s donation of almost a million euros to the party’s account before the local elections.
Porto Franco, a company associated with Teder, was entitled to a loan of 40 million euros, which they decided to allocate through the KredEx fund created by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. It is known that Teder received two donations from the Center Party, 30 thousand euros each: on July 1 and September 9.
After that, in early July, the KredEx Council discussed the allocation of a loan to Porto Franco, and in September this loan was approved by the government.
Tedera and Krakht are also suspected of a money laundering agreement, which was concluded to hide the transfer of a bribe.
Against the background of the disclosure of this information, Prime Minister Juri Ratas made assurances that as the head of government “he did not make malicious or deliberately wrong decisions.” He emphasized that the State Prosecutor and the General Director of the Security Police have no complaints against him personally, which they themselves reported to him.
“The suspicions of the prosecutor’s office made public today do not mean that someone is unambiguously guilty, but they inevitably cast a serious shadow on everyone involved.
In such a situation, it seems unambiguously the right resignation to give an opportunity to shed light on all the circumstances and achieve clarity, ”explained Ratas for his decision to resign.
The General Secretary of the Center Party, Mikhail Korb, also announced his resignation.
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