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Jõks: Situation in Riigikogu should be solved with political agreement

Former Chancellor of Justice Allar Jõks.
Former Chancellor of Justice Allar Jõks. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Former Chancellor of Justice Allar Jõks believes the situation which has emerged in the Riigikogu due to the marriage referendum should be solved with a political agreement. In his words, it would ensure the credibility of the parliament.

The Committee of Constitutional Affairs decided on Wednesday (January 6) that the 9,400 amendment bills submitted for the marriage referendum would not be discussed and instead every person who submitted an amendment was given five minutes to explain their proposal. For example, in the case of 99 proposals, this would mean 3,3 seconds per proposal.

Jõks told ERR what is happening in the Riigikogu is devaluating the credibility and trustworthiness of the institution.

"In a situation where the vaccination is moving slowly and supporting the companies harmed by the coronavirus, restrictions are turbulent and the number of infected is going up, it is depressing to deal with such a question. Here I'm not accusing the coalition or the opposition, but the Riigikogu as a whole," Jõks said.

The former chancellor of justice explained the Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act requires members of the Riigikogu to be given time to present their proposals. However, the law does not set a certain time limit. He said that it is only logical that the committee sets a time limit, but in his opinion, it should be reasonable.

He added that there is no such gap in the act, which would allow stopping the parliament's work.

"There is no such gap because if it was a very important bill and not accepting it would have catastrophic consequences - for example, the state budget bill or necessary law packages are not accepted to fight against the coronavirus because there are 10,000 amendments presented - then the act has a solution for that. It would be possible to tie the bill with a confidence vote, then there would not be this long proceeding time," Jõks explained.

"The fact that the procedure of the referendum cannot be linked to a vote of confidence is how the legislator shows that the use of an obstruction in a referendum does not lead to such catastrophic consequences," he added.

"If we compare, for example, the state budget or an anti-virus package with a referendum on the definition of marriage, then we all understand that if this referendum doesn't take place on April 18, in October or this year, then nothing catastrophic will happen. Therefore, I do not see the need to change the Rules of Procedure of the Riigikogu in the present case, but I do see the need for this embarrassing situation to be resolved by an agreement to ensure the credibility and credibility of the parliament," Jõks said


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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