Karilaid: Opposition's behavior unstatesmanlike

Jaanus Karilaid.
Jaanus Karilaid. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Thousands of motions to amend the oppositions has vowed to file before the second reading of the marriage referendum bill would paralyze state administration and would not constitute statesmanlike conduct, Jaanus Karilaid, deputy chairman of the ruling Center Party, said on the "Otse uudistemajast" webcast.

Karilaid said that first it is necessary to wait until December 30 by which all motions to amend need to be in. Next, we need to group them and see how many we can overlook on grounds of similarity, the politician said.

"If that fails, there will be a deadlock and need to think about what to do next," he explained.

Karilaid said that the marriage referendum seems to be the most important topic for the opposition that seems to be overlooking economic matters.

"It is not very statesmanlike to want to paralyze state administration," Karilaid said, referring to the motions to amend flood plan.

The MP said that while he agrees the Riigikogu Rules and Procedures Act needs to be amended (that would allow opposition stalling tactics to be negated – ed.), it would require greater political consensus.

"Trying to amend the Rules and Procedures Act right now, we might also be looking at thousands of motions to amend," he added.

Sooäär understands politics

Karilaid described fellow Center Party faction member Imre Sooäär's idea of rephrasing the referendum question as a sensible approach.

"Personally, I support this approach because everything we can ask the people is a bonus. And I for one would not underestimate the people's capacity for action and analysis," he said.

Karilaid described Sooäär as a hardened politician who understands the importance of cooperation between different camps.

"Imre Sooäär has a vision or thoughts of how to shape policy between the first and second readings of the bill. He is willing to invest his energy, know-how and experience there," Center's deputy chair added.

Karilaid also said that the referendum being canceled would be no great loss for the Estonian people, while it would be a victory for the opposition and a sign of the coalition's weakness. He said that the coalition still has things it wants to contribute to running the country.

"It is a Tammsaarean government – endless ditch digging with happiness always just behind the next corner," the politician said.

Katri Raik could become mayor of Narva before year is out

Commenting on the situation in Narva, Karilaid said that Social Democrat Katri Raik could still become mayor of Narva in 2020.

"Center is restoring its position in Narva and we will surely achieve a good [local elections] result there in 2021," he added.

Asked whether he trusts Yana Toom in local matters in the border city, Karilaid said she trusts Toom as a MEP.

He explained that the eyes of politicians and the press will be mostly on Tallinn, Tartu and Narva for the 2021 local elections.

"Of course, Center plans to take the absolute majority in both Narva and Tallinn," he said.

The webcast also touched on the Haapsalu railroad, presidential elections and the government's coronavirus compensation measures.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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