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Estonian far-right trade minister resigns

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TALLINN (Reuters) – Estonia’s IT and foreign trade minister Kert Kingo from the far-right party EKRE has resigned, the prime minister’s office said on Wednesday.

Kingo was one of five ministers of EKRE, whose anti-immigrant message helped the party more than double its support in the March election, winning broad support in poorer areas.

She caused a political storm when she told parliament she had no information about a plan to hire an advisor. The ministry later said the hiring was done on the minister’s orders.

“In the current situation it is unanimously clear that for her to continue in the job would have been very difficult. For her, for her party, and for the whole government,” Prime Minister Juri Ratas said in a statement.

EKRE is the second largest partner in Estonia’s government whose programme includes some of the party’s strict immigration policies and pledges that Estonia will not take in refugees as part of a European Union-wide quota system.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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