Rõivas: Recalling state company board members premature (1)

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas. (Postimees/Scanpix)
11/5/2016 11:28 AM
Source: BNS, ERR
Category: News

According to Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform), recalling members of the Riigikogu from the supervisory boards of state enterprises and foundations is premature and a substitute activity. Rõivas doesn’t expect the current internal skirmish in the coalition to harm the government, daily Postimees reported on Friday.

Rõivas told the paper that the government had discussed the matter of these appointments at Thursday’s cabinet meeting, in particular how parliament could in the future appoint MPs to supervisory boards of state enterprises in such a way that everything would be fully constitutional.

He added that one of the points discussed was that if new rules were drawn up, the members of supervisory boards who were previously named by ministers should be recalled, and either new or the same people appointed by the Riigikogu.

According to Rõivas, the proposal was also supported by Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise, but the discussion is still ongoing and will continue next week. He added that calling back supervisory board members without thoroughly discussing the plan was premature, and the topic not that urgent that it wouldn’t be possible to discuss it calmly for another week.

After more than a decade of positioning party members on boards, Reform stands to lose most

After several years of the issue flaring up from time to time, the government this week seemed to have arrived at the conclusion that the way members of the Riigikogu were currently appointed by ministers as members of state companies’ supervisory boards was unconstitutional.

But while the coalition’s junior partners, the Social Democrats (SDE) and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), were in favor of immediate action, the ministers belonging to the Reform party preferred to keep working towards a compromise. Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Kristen Michal (Reform) presented a compromise that would involve a committee in between the appointing minister and the appointee, but the proposal was rejected by the coalition partners.

The Reform Party by far has the largest share of MPs sitting on state company boards. IRL and SDE ministers started recalling those in companies in their jurisdiction on Friday, after Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas showed no sign of readiness to start resolving the matter promptly. Neither IRL nor SDE have Riigikogu members sitting on state company boards.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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