Anvar Samost: a policeman’s worldview and the state of citizens

Anvar Samost. Photo: private collection
Anvar Samost. Photo: private collection

Surprisingly, no party other than EKRE has started to make the life of officials more comfortable by restricting the personal freedoms of officials, born in the Cabinet and increasing.

The day after joining the Center Party, the long-postponed Minister of the Interior Kristian Jaani answered the question of ERR journalist Alexander Krjukov about his worldview, that it is very related to the policeman’s worldview. For a while, an unexpected response was joked, but the debate in recent weeks on the collection of biometric personal data of all Estonians shows that this is far from a joke.

Jaani became the Minister of the Interior at the teleshopping of the Chairman of the Center Party Jüri Ratas. Estonian political parties have been having difficulties in bringing successful people into politics in other areas for twenty years. There are several reasons for this, from the reputation of politicians and political parties to the fact that, in essence, professional participation in top politics in our country is only possible as a member of parliament or government, and elections are only held every four years. Thus, a window of opportunity for new faces opens up when governments change.

It may be that a politician who has jumped directly into government without previous political experience can do well, but the opposite has also happened. There are dangers in the bustling internal competition within the parties, which is known to be the biggest competition in politics, and there are also risks in the officials’ attempts to make the minister make the appropriate moves for them.

The two newcomers to the last government’s policy seem to be at the mercy of officials. Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets cannot handle public speeches and is no more competent in international relations than the conversation points written to her. Kristian Jaani is more eloquent, but also completely without her own agenda.

But consolidating the fingerprints and facial images surrendered when applying for a document into a single database for use in criminal proceedings, without leaving any choice, is such a big issue that it requires competence, steel and, most of all, a voter mandate and worldview. The fact that steel is rare in current Estonian politics was proved by two EKRE interior ministers, who reviewed the draft pre-empted by officials with the first impetus. Journalists cannot be praised either, who, without the opposition initiated by the EKRE Riigikogu, would not have noticed that the bill, which significantly infringes the freedoms and rights of citizens, is becoming law.

It is, of course, easier to see a police officer’s worldview if each person is a potential suspect whose biometric data is a click away from the database. From this point of view, it does not matter whether people were aware when giving their fingerprints when applying for a passport that the data will be stored in state databases forever and will be used by the police. But the police party, the party of officials, has not participated in the elections and they do not have any people’s deputies in parliament. The interests of free citizens are not just about maximum security.

EKRE’s opposition to the legalization of the personal identification database, or ABIS, may be opportunistic, with the aim of expanding the circle of potential voters. Looking at the latest opinion polls, they have succeeded.

However, ABIS is not an isolated case. Due to EKRE’s opposition, the governing coalition agreed to recast the amendments to the Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Act, ensuring that police involvement in pandemic resolution occurs only during emergencies or emergencies, for clearly defined tasks and not automatically, but by a separate government decision. In the same way, EKRE has slowed down the hate speech law, thus doing the work of liberal political parties and defenders of personal freedoms. It is possible that these confrontations reflect the new face of EKRE, the change brought about by Martin Helme when he became the party leader.

The Reform Party and the Social Democrats, and in fact the other parties, have reason to stop supporting drafts that restrict freedoms due to the inertia or convenience of officials and to look in the mirror self-critically.

Kersti Kaljulaid, President, who is otherwise extremely critical of EKRE, has been able to do so. Meeting with Martin Helmi to consult on the proclamation of ABIS adopted by the Riigikogu is not the only sign that the President, unlike the Minister of the Interior and some journalists, does not carry a police officer’s worldview and may reject the law. It is to be hoped that the policeman’s worldview has not reached the Supreme Court either.

Source: Lääne Elu by

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