Additional weekend Riigikogu session may see EKRE filibuster

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The Riigikogu session hall. Source: Erik Peinar/Riigikogu chancellery

The Riigikogu is to hold an additional session Saturday and Sunday, ostensibly to clear up loose ends before breaking up for summer next week. Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) leader Martin Helme has, however, threatened to filibuster the session in protest over a bill which would centralize biometric data held on citizens.

While the agenda includes items which were due for regular sittings in the month of June but which got put back, a debate on inequality and poverty in Estonia, initiated by the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE), EKRE leader Martin Helme says that his party intends to derail the entire schedule, in protest over a proposed database, known by its Estonian abbreviation ABIS, which will, proponents say, make more efficient access to biometric data in pursuit of criminal cases. Opponents from EKRE say it represents a potential data protection rights infringement.

In his role as speaker, Jüri Ratas (Center) has convened the extraordinary sitting, to start at 5 p.m. Saturday and to run as much time as needed to work through the agenda, to end no later than 9 a.m. on the Monday.

Parliament breaks up for its summer recess on Thursday, June 17.

While it is not due to reconvene for normal business until mid-September, another extraordinary session is due from the end of August, when the presidential elections start.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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