Opposition parties end prime minister's question boycott

Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas.
Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The two opposition parties at the Riigikogu have ended their boycott of Prime Minister's Question Time.

The boycott had lasted around a month, but tentatively started to submit questions on Wednesday, BNS reports.

According to a law passed in 2009, the prime minister is required to attend every Question Time at the Riigikogu, but whether, what and who to quiz is up to MPs.

Reform Party chair Kaja Kallas expressed her dissatisfaction last month with some of Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' (Centre) answers to questions, saying they were evasive.

This meant that the burden fell on other ministers; for instance former foreign trade and IT minister Kert Kingo (EKRE) was asked 13 of the total 15 questions submitted at one session in mid-October. Kingo herself had to step down two weeks ago after it emerged she had misled the Riigikogu about her appointment of an advisor.

Kaja Kallas said her party will evaluate whether to continue the reinstated questions, saying she was still not happy with the recent results.

"We did not get any clear answers," she said, noting that while Ratas has told his cabinet that answers given to questions must be exhaustive, this had not in actuality happened, in her view.

"The question time [on Wednesday] wasn't really indicative of this," Kallas said, according to BNS, adding that Ratas does not play by his own rules.

"We will discuss how to proceed. If [the prime minister] doesn't give any answers, we see no reason to ask him anything," Kallas continued.

The opposition consists of Reform and the Social Democratic Party (SDE), who together hold 45 seats at the 101-seat Riigikogu, including independent MP Raimond Kaljulaid.

The coalition parties, Centre, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa hold the remainder of the seats.

On Nov. 4 Reform MP Urmas Kruuse had already submitted questions to Ratas on the issue of the M.V.Wool fish plant Listeria allegations and rural affairs minister Mart Järvik's role in the matter.

Government ministers do not sit in the Riigikogu, but appear there regularly for questioning.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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