Mark Soosaar to leave the Riigikogu
Member of the Social Democratic Party (SDE) Parliamentary Group Mark Soosaar has submitted his notice to leave his position as MP.
"I wrote this notice because I am just unable to do everything that has piled up," Soosaar told ERR. "My health is not the best either. I have a couple of unfinished books and films as well."
In his notice, dated Nov. 14, Soosaar asked to please be relieved of his position as MP for health-related reasons beginning Nov. 24.
"I don’t have an alternate member for these things," noted Soosaar. "But there is an entire line of alternate members in the Riigikogu already if I go back to my creative work."
Soosaar rejected claims that his departure from the Riigikogu was related to the recent vote of no-confidence against the prime minister, from which he abstained.
"I really did abstain from voting," explained the social democrat. "To be honest I felt at that moment that I would hurt a number of very likable people with a good conscience on both sides."
President of the Riigikogu and fellow social democrat Eiki Nestor told ERR that as far as he knew, Soosaar's departure from the Riigikogu had to do with the latter's health, but noted that it wouldn't be proper or polite to ask for details. He noted that the coalition being formed didn't have to worry about coming up short on support as it would become clear by Thursday whether or not they would include the Free Party, which would guarantee the coalition 64 votes in the Riigikogu instead of 56.
Deputy Chairman of the SDE Parliamentary Group Kalvi Kõva told ERR that Soosaar had been talking about leaving the Riigikogu for some time already, as he had problems with his eyes. "His departure is 100 percent not related to the formation of a new coalition, certainly not," said Kõva. "Soosaar has stated via the party's internal mailing list that Estona needs changes and that the changing of the government was the right thing to do."
Mark Soosaar was Minister of Culture Indrek Saar’s alternate. Upon the former’s departure from the Riigikogu, and should Saar continue as a minister under the new government, Aet Maatee is slated to replace Soosaar.