While the Riigikogu only just voted on bills attached to a confidence clause, the government on Thursday decided to tie another two bills headed for their second readings to trust in itself.
This time, the Reform-Center government opted to tie confidence in itself to a bill on the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) handing over its fleet and another concerning the availability of goods and services.
The government made a proposal to the Riigikogu to hear the bills tied to a confidence vote on May 30. Scheduled for the same day is the first reading of the Family Benefits Act amendments that recently caused a lot of bad blood in the coalition.
Center whip Jaanus Karilaid told ERR that it was decided to tie the votes to a confidence vote because the opposition had put forward too many proposals to amend. "Otherwise, we could not move forward with these bills," he said.
Reform Party deputy whip Erkki Keldo said that several important topics are stuck in the Riigikogu as they have become targets of meaningless filibustering. "The government found these things to be important and have the potential to make life better in the country," Keldo said.
Karilaid and Keldo both said that family benefits coming up for a vote the same day has nothing to do with the decision to tie the two minor bills to confidence in the government.
Martin Helme, head of the opposition Conservative People's Party (EKRE), said that the government seems to have reconciled in-house differences and agreed on which bills to steamroll through parliament.
"Amendment proposals are introduced with the plan of pulling obstruction should the government consider some of them. We had compromise proposals for both bills," Helme said.
If the government ties draft legislation it has entered into proceedings to a confidence vote before the second reading, it will take over the work of the managing [Riigikogu] committee, with the speaker forwarding all amendment proposals to the government. The government then draws up the new text, list of proposals to amend and explanatory memorandum.
No votes are taken on proposals to amend when processing bills tied to confidence in the government that move directly to the final vote after deliberations. If the Riigikogu fails to pass a bill tied to confidence in the cabinet, the government automatically resigns.
Editor: Marcus Turovski