Motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas introduced, vote to take place on Wednesday

Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas in the Riigikogu, Nov. 7, 2016. (ERR/ Siim Lõvi)
11/7/2016 6:03 PM
Category: News

In the Riigikogu’s Monday sitting, the opposition submitted a motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform). The motion was signed by 41 members of parliament. The matter will be dealt with on Wednesday, as the government didn’t support an expedited vote.

The motion was introduced by chairman of the Center Party’s parliamentary group, Kadri Simson, and explained in detail by the party’s deputy chairman, MP Jaanus Karilaid.

In the opinion of the signatories, the country needs a new government. Not only had the prime minister lost the trust of the opposition, but he was also incapable of leading his own government, the motion read. And because the government didn’t have a capable leader, it was incapable of working together.

Rõivas’ inability to lead had taken Estonia to a point of complete standstill, Simson said. The government had proven to be incapable of making the kind of decision needed in the current situation. Simson brought up the fight surrounding the appointment of Juhan Parts to the European Court of Auditors, which took months to settle, as well as other points, including the government’s dragging along the decision to end the politicization of the supervisory boards of state companies.

Other points mentioned were Rõivas’ day-by-day approach handing the administrative reform, and the forcing of municipalities to merge without regard to their individual situation.

How the government handled infrastructure and service procurements was brought up as an issue as well, specifically the point of contracts handed out to companies without public tenders.

The Free Party and the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) joined the motion, with the Free Party’s chairman, Andres Herkel, saying that as prime minister, Rõivas needed to accept responsibility for the mess the matter of the appointment of Riigikogu members to state company supervisory boards had become.

Chairman of EKRE’s parliamentary group, Martin Helme, said that the people of Estonia expected Rõivas’ government to fall, and pointed to the protesters his party had organized outside Toompea Castle as an example.

“The prime minister’s work so far has not been satisfactory,” Helme said. “If we continue on today’s course, stagnation will only deepen. The prime minister guarantees the current standstill, and I genuinely hope that we can exchange him swiftly,” he added.

The vote will take place on Wednesday. With 41 signatories, the motion has the necessary support to be put to a vote. For the government to be forced to step down, 51 votes are necessary.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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