Coalition may be unable to get votes together for referendum vote

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The riigikogu sitting on Monday, December 14, where the marriage referendum bill passed its first reading. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

According to daily newspaper Postimees, it is highly doubtful that the ruling coalition will get together a sufficient number of votes during the second reading of the draft resolution on a referendum on the definition of marriage for the draft to advance to its third and final vote.

In the first reading of the draft resolution of the Riigikogu, 48 members of the 101-seat chamber were in favor of dumping the bill, and 51 were against the proposal. Center Party member Mihhail Korb, who was absent from that sitting, likely counts as someone who will vote for the referendum plan this time, according to Postimees.

Member of the Isamaa Party, Mihhail Lotman, also did not vote during the draft's first reading.

Postimees said it is rather clear that MP Imre Sooäär (Center) will not support the draft in its second reading. Thus, the fate of the bill may depend on several Isamaa MPs who either have not decided yet, or have not made their stance public.

Isamaa MP Raivo E. Tamm, one of these unknowns, declined to give comment to Postimees. Another, Andres Metsoja, chairman of the Riigikogu national defense committee, said his choice depends on the legislative framework and what the conclusions of the chancellor of justice will be - if the conclusions are to be made public before Wednesday's vote in the Rigikogu at all.

Lotman, who described his stance towards the draft as very skeptical, added that his eventual position depends on whether the question to be put to voters in the referendum will remain the same and whether the Reform Party will back down on their "stupid foreign policy questions."

Lotman observed that he doesn't support the question the way it is phrased in the bill as of now.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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