Vaping MP misses Riigikogu question spot while chilling to music at home
The realities of remote working hit home for no less august an institution than Estonia's Riigikogu Thursday morning, after one MP was caught in rather relaxed mode, after being called to ask his question.
Deputy Riigikogu speaker Martin Helme (EKRE) had called Isamaa MP Tarmo Kruusimäe to ask his question, after which the Riigjkogu's video link cut to Kruusimäe's screen.
Far from being primed with a query on a pressing topic of the day, however, Kruusimäe was seen to be reclining on his bed, while vaping, accompanied by a pop soundtrack played at some volume (see tweet below).
So this just happened in the Estonian parliament.— Adam Rang (/) (@adamrangpr) April 15, 2021
"Tarmo, ask a question! Tarmo, you have the opportunity to ask a question. Looks like he doesn't want to. Let's go to the next question."
Despite the deputy speaker repeating his name several times and instructing him to pose his question, Kruusimäe was not to be snapping out of his reverie any time soon, and business back at the more rarefied atmosphere of the Riigikogu chamber had to move on.
What question the MP would have asked had he heard the call to speak - the Riigikogu video's caption implies it was about climate neutrality - and whether it was related to e-cigarettes, is not yet known.
Kruusimäe was, however, behind a bill which exempted e-cigarette liquids from excise duty until the end of 2022, complicated slightly by the fact that the Tax and Customs Authority (MTA) has barred ordering vaping liquids and other paraphernalia from outside Estonia.
Several other MPs and also culture minister Anneli Ott (Center) - government ministers do not sit in the Riigikogu but regularly appear before the chamber to answer questions - were also linked from home, or at least away from Toompea, with former speaker Henn Põlluaas' (EKRE) ginger cat perhaps taking the runner-up prize for video highlights of the day.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte