Reform Party MP Marko Mihkelson, who has been at the center of a scandal following media reports about him having taken inappropriate photos of children, decided to step down from the position of chairman of the Estonian parliament's foreign affairs committee.
Marko Mihkelson announces decision to step down as head of foreign affairs committee
«Although the public attack against me and my family is unfair and vile, I have decided to resign as chairman in the interests of the work peace of the the foreign affairs committee,» Mihkelson wrote on social media on Monday.
He added that Estonia currently needs a foreign policy that is tight-knit in terms of domestic policy and focuses on security.
«I will devote more attention to my family in the near future. I thank the hundreds of people who have sent us letters and messages of support over the past few days. This has helped us remain strong as a family. I do not intend to give up my participation in Estonia's foreign and security policy and will run in the spring Riigikogu elections in Harju and Rapla counties,» Mihkelson said.
Mart Vorklaev, head of the parliamentary group of the Reform Party, said he understands Mihkelson's decision not to participate in political mud throwing and to protect his family.
«This is a statesmanlike step. Marko Mihkelson has contributed to the development of Estonia's foreign and defense policy over the years and will certainly continue to do so in the future,» he added.
– The parliamentary group of the Reform Party on Tuesday named Andres Sutt, former minister of entrepreneurship and IT of Estonia, as candidate for the position of chairman of the Riigikogu foreign affairs committee.
«It is currently a very difficult time in foreign and security policy, where the protection of Estonia's interests requires the united contribution of all members of the foreign affairs committee,» Sutt was quoted by party spokespeople as saying.
«Estonia must continue to fully support Ukraine and convince its allies that Putin's defeat and Ukraine's victory are in the interests of a free and democratic world. I hope that I can count on the support and cooperation of all my colleagues in this work,» he added.