Reps: EKRE needs to be reminded of the rule of law and the Constitution

Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps (Center).
Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps (Center). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Deputy chairman of the Center Party, Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps told Vikerraadio's "Uudis+" program that the coalition partners will address the government crisis during the coalition council meeting where they plan to remind the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) of the principles of rule of law and constitutional rights.

Reps said that Center has not stabbed EKRE in the back in any way but has proceeded based on the Estonian Constitution.

"First, we need to have a three-way meeting. We have the coalition council format for that. And it is likely that additional time will be needed as we might have to start with a refresher course on the rule of law in Estonia, the Constitution and everyone's rights," Reps said.

"This is not about values and whether a traditional marriage needs to be between a man and a woman. It is not a matter of what a part of people do with their private lives but goes beyond that. It is a question of whether people can feel safe in society and whether it is a safe place for everyone," the minister explained.

Reps said that Center expects EKRE to take at least three steps back and explain its interpretation of the Constitution.

"In a situation obviously created as a result of one's own problems, one should first realize one has caused it," she added.

Reps said that while the coalition will very likely endure, fundamental changes are in order.

Mailis Reps said that EKRE have not changed their statements and language to any notable degree since coming to power. "There have been numerous times we have been forced to sit down with coalition partners to go over these so-called red lines and specify what can be said and what cannot and why some things have culminated in a scandal," Center's deputy chair said.

Interior minister Mart Helme (EKRE) told German international public broadcaster Deutsche Welle's (DW) Russian-language service last week that he looked at LGBT+ people in an "unfriendly manner" and suggested they relocate to Sweden, where he said the atmosphere may be more amenable to them. Helme, whose comments attracted widespread condemnation including from prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center Party), has since said his words had been misrepresented.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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