The Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court did not satisfy the appeals of 13 municipal councils to suspend the validity, fulfillment or entry into force of the Estonian government's forced merger regulations.
The municipal councils of Illuka, Padise, Vasalemma, Tõstamaa, Koeru, Rakke, Lüganuse, Lasva, Kambja, Ülenurme, Emmaste, Mikitamäe and Pala Municipalities appealed to the Supreme Court to suspend the fulfillment of the government's forced merger regulations until the Supreme Court's decision on the wider matter entered into force.
The chamber noted that it did not see the need in the current stage of the procedure to suspend the entry into force of the provisions of the regulations not yet in force.
"The need to make such a procedural decision may occur once it becomes likely that proceedings in the case may not conclude before election results are announced," the court said.
"Should the chamber not reach a decision before the announcement of the election results, the chamber can suspend the entry into force of the provisions of the contested regulation on its own initiative," the Supreme Court chamber confirmed.
15 municipalities take forced mergers to top court
As of Thursday, with the addition of Võru Municipality, a total of 15 municipal councils have appealed to the Supreme Court of Estonia for a constitutional review of the Estonian government's planned forced mergers of smaller local governments.
In addition to Võru Municipality, Kambja, Ülenurme, Pala, Illuka, Emmaste, Tõstamaa, Koeru, Lasva, Mikitamäe, Rakke, Lüganuse, Padise, Vasalemma and Pühalepa Municipalities have appealed to the country's top court.
The Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court has requested the opinions of the state government via the Minister of Public Administration and the Chancellor of Justice by Aug. 22 on the cases of Lasva, Koeru, Rakke and Lüganuse Municipalities.
The Supreme Court also granted the remaining municipalities until Aug. 14 to address deficiencies identified in their appeals.
The top court requires the local governments to submit proof that their municipal councils voted to approve the final text of their appeal. If a municipal council did not vote to approve the final text of its appeal, the municipal council has the right to addres this deficiency in its appeal by holding such a vote and thereafter submit proof of this vote to the court.
Editor: Aili Vahtla