Riigikogu speaker: There is nothing to support in opposition's protests

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Speaker of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas (EKRE). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Speaker of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas (EKRE) said that a protest from opposition representatives regarding a lack of time to explain amendments to the marriage bill has reached the Riigikogu board, who will discuss the protest in the near future.

By Thursday afternoon, protests from Reform MPs Yoko Alender and Erkki Keldo had reached Põlluaas, the head of the Riigikogu, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

"We will have to discuss all these protests that reach us but I see no such nuance that we should support," Põlluaas said.

According to the Riigikogu speaker, the consitutional affairs committee decided that all proposers of amendment to the marriage referendum bill will have time to present their amendments. Põlluaas added that the committee must decide how to proceed with the 9,000 amendments going forward.

"Who will have to listen to all the presenters, make a decision, how to send them into the hall, how to group some amendments from a content and goal perspective. This is not actually improving the bill, it is an obstruction. And we will make the final decision in the great hall," Põlluaas said.

Former justice chancellor Allar Jõks said that according to the Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act in force, the leading committee must allow amendment proposers to present their proposals before making a decision on them. He added that a time period for presentations is not specified, but it should be a reasonable amount of time.

"So if we are reading the law grammatically, it is not possible to tie amendment proposals together into one, whether they are identical or similar or not," Jõks said.

He noted that the obstruction protects the rights of the parliamentary minority and is justified if there are no means to stand for your voters' rights. Only the Chancellor of Justice (Ülle Madise - ed.) can take the argument regarding violations of the Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act to the Supreme Court. Jõks said that he would consider it, if he was justice chancellor.

"I would always consider it - is the topic or the bill so important that obstructing it sets Estonian life in danger. And then, based off that, it could be possible to assess if the obstructionism is permissible or not," Jõks explained.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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