Jüri Ratas resigned as prime minister of Estonia and head of the Centre Party on Wednesday, amid allegations of corruption against his party.
On Tuesday, the Estonian Public Prosecutor’s Office announced it suspected the Centre Party and five individuals, including its Secretary-General Mihhail Korb, were involved in “possible corruption” in relation to allegations of influence peddling and bribery over the Porto Franco property development project in Tallinn.
Ratas said in a statement published on Facebook that while he had been told he was not personally implicated in the allegations and had never knowingly made any “malevolent or knowingly wrong” decisions during his time as PM, he was taking “political responsibility” and stepping aside.
“The suspicions lodged by the Office of the Prosecutor General … do not yet mean that someone is definitely guilty, but they inevitably cast a serious shadow on all the parties involved,” Ratas wrote. “In such a situation, giving, through my resignation, a possibility to shed light on all circumstances and achieve clarity seems the only right thing to do.”
According to local media, under the constitution, Ratas’ resignation will lead to the dissolution of the current government, with Ratas likely continuing to act as a caretaker prime minister until a new one is formed.
Jüri Ratas resigns as Estonian prime minister Wire Services/ Politico.