Rõivas to face new accusations in expression of no confidence

Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas. (Postimees/Scanpix)
10/29/2016 8:15 AM
Category: News

The opposition parties of Riigikogu are planning to propose a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas on Nov. 7. The list of complaints against Rõivas has grown considerably compared to the initial plan.

The text of the expression is ready in principle, but the Center Party, Free Party and Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) are still coordinating the details and have agreed to withhold the text until the final version has been written.

Two weeks ago, Center Party Parliamentary Group Chairman Kadri Simson said that they had promised a year ago already to initiate an expression of no confidence against Rõivas if the government decided to endorse Juhan Parts (IRL) for the Estonian seat in the European Court of Auditors (ECA).

On Friday, Simson told ERR that in addition to ignoring the opposition's suggestion to run a public competition for finding the new representative to the ECA, the prime minister had proven himself uncapable of leading the government's work in several other ways.

"Under the leadership of the prime minister, the government has not managed to pass the necessary legislation for the implementation of the administrative reform," Simson highlighted. "The Reform Party has no intention of calling members of the parliament back from the boards of companies. In a cabinet meeting, the ferry issue was dealt with in a way that we currently see unfolding — there are simply no new ferries."

EKRE Parliamentary Group Chairman Martin Helme told that on the proposal of EKRE, Rõivas will be blamed for thoughtless immigration policy and a high emigration rate. Both of these topics are of existential importance for Estonia, but the prime minister doesn't seem to understand that," said Helme.

Helme added that the government has adopted a tax system that is hindering economic development as well as a national defense development plan that does not take into account the current security situation, and noted that the government has also caused a crisis in agriculture. "In the latter case, they are simply pretending to be clueless and say that money comes from the EU," he noted, "But agricultural subsidies are paid everywhere in Europe."

The signatures of at least 21 MPs are needed to initiate an expression of no confidence. For the no-confidence motion to pass and the government to resign, at least 51 MPs have to vote in favor of it. The Center Party has currently 27 seats in the parliament, while the Free Party has eight and EKRE seven MPs.

Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas himself commented that he was looking forward to the opposition's no-confidence motion against him. "I'm very excitedly observing the opposition's inability to decide what to blame me for," Rõivas announced via social media, noting that what used to take hours to decide was now taking weeks.

Editor: Kristjan Kodres

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