Estonia’s Ex-PM Quits as Deputy Speaker over “Wild Party” in Msia

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Allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

 Estonia’s former centre-right Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas has resigned as the national parliament’s second deputy president following sexual harassment allegations.

Rõivas, who was Estonia’s prime minister from 2014 to 2016, issued a public apology on Thursday evening after he was accused of sexual harassment during a visit with an Enterprise Estonia delegation to Kuala Lumpur last month.

Rõivas was heading the 37-member trade delegation to Singapore and Malaysia for 10 days from Sept 18. He was accompanied by his wife Luisa but she left for a holiday in Bali on Sept 20.

The alleged sexual harassment and assault occurred during a party at a bar in a Kuala Lumpur hotel on Sept 21.

It was reported that several of the delegation members, including Rõivas, behaved inappropriately towards women at the party, including one alleged groping and an incident in which a woman was pushed into a swimming pool. Rõivas was also accused of “dancing too close” to a woman.

Rõivas said media reports made the incidents look worse than they were, but said he would take political responsibility.

“I don’t really know if this is enough to resign, but I think that beyond someone getting hurt, if this is turning into such a big scandal that it affects my colleagues then to me this resignation isn’t painful. I’m doing this to spare others,” Rõivas said.

According to Estonian media, he apologised “personally and in the name of all of the delegation” to all those “who felt bad after the incident”. He also apologised to his wife and children.