Kallas criticizes board for failing to condemn insults in Riigikogu

The board of the Riigikogu needs to reprimand MPs who behave rudely at sittings and use abusive language against people appearing before the parliament, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said.

"When I became a member of the Riigikogu in 2011, the board at the time reprimanded MPs and did not let them rant on and hurl abuse at others," Kallas said at a meeting with residents of the northwestern county town of Haapsalu on Friday, daily newspaper Postimees reported.

"The boundaries have been shifted a great deal, however, and the board of the Riigikogu is not doing anything about it," she said.

"People used to be told that this is not appropriate behavior because it concerned the reputation of the entire Riigikogu; now however, this boundary has been shifted and the board of the Riigikogu should tell these people to behave."

Kallas chaired a work group that compiled a code of ethics for MPs in 2014. The premier said at the meeting that the guidelines were followed until 2019. In 2019, the Center Party formed a coalition with the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) and Isamaa, whereby Henn Polluaas from EKRE was elected president of the Riigikogu.

Kallas had to answer a racist comment by an EKRE MP in the parliament on Wednesday as well as hear former leader of the party Mart Helme claim the prime minister was suffering from a bipolar disorder.

"I never heard of anyone being abused like this during the preceding government. They [EKRE MPs -- ed.] are not asking questions, they're simply hurling abuse. This is where they should be asked if this is really necessary," Kallas said, adding that while she does not have any problem with debates that have substance, personal attacks should be condemned.

In recent days, daily newspapers Postimees and Eesti Päevaleht have called on the Riigikogu to behave with more dignity.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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