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NGOs Launch Crowd-Sourcing Project to Repair Democracy

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The "People's Assembly," an initiative that came out of political turmoil and aims to bring the lawmaking process closer to citizens, was launched today, ETV reported.

Materializing as a website - rahvakogu.ee - the initiative has turned to crowd-sourcing to fix controversial laws governing elections and political parties, including, among other issues, stopping the politicization of public offices. Those who want to make a proposal or comment are required to log in with their national ID card.

In the first stage of the initiative, until the end of January, proposals and comments will be submitted online. In February, analysts will go over the proposals and group them into bundles. In March, the proposals that win enough support will be debated at public meetings and presented to Parliament by the president.

"My big hope is that a friendly environment for discussion emerges and if it proves itself it could be a role model for successive lawmaking processes in whatever area," Urmo Kübar, one of the organizers, told ETV.

The idea for the website was proposed by President Toomas Hendrik Ilves during a meeting with decision makers last November that he called in light of widespread criticism of the government.

Organizers of the website include NGOs such as the Estonian Cooperation Assembly, the Praxis Center for Policy Studies, EMSL, the e-Governance Academy and the Open Estonia Foundation.

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