The Riigikogu constitutional affairs committee decided on Wednesday that the 9,400 amendments to the marriage referendum bill will not be discussed in full. While the Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act allows for each proposal to be presented, the committee decided to allow for five minutes each for presenters instead.
While opposition representatives consider this a breach of law, chairman of the Riigikogu constitutional affairs committee Anti Poolamets (EKRE) said the step taken is necessary to ensure parliament's ability to work.
"We took a good step today. We established a procedure for the amendments and determined a manner and time of how they will be introduced in the committee," Poolamets told EKRE.
"We will give each envoy a chance to introduce their positions, but we have limited them to five minutes," he added.
Poolamets said he hopes to hear the amendments during Thursday, but it can run through Friday. "In any way, the plan is to be ready for a discussion in the Riigikogu's great hall on Wednesday," the constitutional affairs committee chair said.
Poolamets also asked the opoposition if they would not want to drop the obstruction and look for ways of cooperation. He received a negative response.
SDE MP and committee deputy chairman: The rights of MPs were restricted
Opposition SDE MP and deputy chairman of the constitutional affairs committee Lauri Läänemets said members of the committee were treated unequally and the right to receive more information was restricted.
"The coalition pushed through a decision at the committee sitting that would give each presenter five minutes to introduce amendments and to ask questions. As an exception, seven minutes were given to a person presenting 100 amendments," Läänemets said.
The decision is contradictory to the Riigikogu's Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act, since each presenter should have time for each of their proposed amendments.
"As a representative of the people, this decision took away my chance to explain why and what I and my voters consider important. It is true, everyone does not have to agree with and support my proposed amendments, but to present them and be heard, that is a democratic right for MPs and the Estonian people, who the members represent," Läänemets noted.
Reform MP: If Põlluaas does not consider protest, we could go to court
Reform Party MP and constitutional affairs committee member Hanno Pevkur told ERR that the process will go on as initially planned on Thursday, but if any MPs feel their rights have been limited, they have a right to turn to the Riigikogu's board with protest.
"And then, the board must make a decision on whether or not the committee chairman (Poolamets - ed.) has acted lawfully or not. And if the committee chair, who is also an EKRE member, stays on his position, then the only possible way left is to go through court," Pevkur said.
He emphasized that it has to be remembered that the only person who is able to turn to couty as of a Riigikogu decision, is Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise.
Pevkur said a solution to the situation regarding the marriage referendum bill is for the coalition to understand it is a perspectiveless action and for them to take back the draft law.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste