President meets prime minister, secretary of state on emergency law fears ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Taimar Peterkop left, Jüri Ratas, and Kersti Kaljulaid at Wednesday's meeting at Kadriorg. Source: President's Office

President Kersti Kaljulaid met with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) and Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop on Wednesday, discussing the vexed question of the Emergency Act, about to have its third Riigikogu reading.

The act deals with the situation in Estonia once the government's emergency situations (eriolukord) expires at midnight on Sunday, imposed on March 12 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, replacing it with a less restrictive "emergency" (hädaolukord).

"I have been following the procedure of bill 165SE (i.e. the emergency act -ed.), ​​which is being processed by the Riigikogu, and this morning I also discussed with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and Secretary of State Taimar Peterkop the solutions offered by this bill, and possible accompanying problems," Kaljulaid wrote on her social media account Wednesday.

The proposed law will not merely resolve the current crisis, but will also set a precedent for future potential crises and their solutions, the president said, in so doing raising issues of basic human freedoms.

"Among other things, the emergency law will be amended to bring a general principle, that different authorities will get a very broad mandate to take action to restrict our rights and freedoms in different crises."

"It is important that the changes that are made quickly are substantially justified, and at the same time ensure the protection of the rights and freedoms of our people, "Kaljulaid wrote.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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