EKRE chairman: Special services covertly influencing Estonian politics (4)

Mart Helme.
Mart Helme. Source: (Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR)

In an interview with ERR earlier this week, chairman of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) Mart Helme said that the country’s intelligence services are meddling with the political parties as well as with elections, and pointed to what he calls the “deep state” that covertly influences Estonia’s politics.

Helme said he differs between the terms “regular state” and “deep state” to describe how Estonia is run. The “regular state” according to Helme is made up of the bureaucrats that run the different areas of government like their own little kingdoms.

“As ministers are rather inexperienced in their portfolios, naturally they are at the mercy of the officials,” Helme said. “Having worked in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I’ve seen from the inside as well how smooth they are manipulating the ministers to get their own way.”

What Helme calls the “deep state” consists of Estonia’s special services, who influence and direct Estonian politics in secret. “It would be extremely naive to think that there aren’t people in all the Estonian parties who keep certain organizations informed about what’s going on,” Helme said. “That’s actually normal, as the special services need to know what is going on in the state, otherwise we wouldn’t need them. But where it gets serious is where the deep state meddles with politics. And that’s what we’re seeing in Estonia,” he added.

Special services meddled with 2016 presidential elections, Helme claims

Helme worked for the Foreign Ministry in the capacity of Estonia’s ambassador to Russia, and later as one of its deputy secretaries-general. In the early 2000s he was an adviser to the minister of agriculture as well.

Having been a candidate himself in the 2016 presidential elections, Helme also claims that President Kersti Kaljulaid was said…


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