New coalition wants to change presidential elections system

Piret Hartman, Mart Võrklaev and Kristina Kallas during Wednesday's coalition talks.
Piret Hartman, Mart Võrklaev and Kristina Kallas during Wednesday's coalition talks. Source: ERR

Sides to the incoming coalition, the Reform Party, Eesti 200 and the Social Democratic Party (SDE), want to change the system of presidential elections to allow candidates to be set up sooner. The parties also discussed changing Riigikogu elections districts.

Eesti 200 deputy head Kristina Kallas told journalists that the party's proposal is to allow candidates to be set up up to 30 days before the first round of voting in the Riigikogu.

The Reform Party's representative Mart Võrklaev added that any agreement over changing the presidential election system needs to transcend Riigikogu parties.

He also said that the plan entails boosting the relative importance of local government electors in the makeup of the Electoral College.

Võrklaev said the coalition also aims to shuffle Riigikogu elections districts.

Reform's negotiator also suggested the coalition wants to amend the Public Broadcasting Act to modernize the work of ERR.

Piret Hartman, representing the Social Democrats at talks, added that the supervisory board of ERR should include more expert knowledge. "We also want to discuss how to ensure independence of the public broadcaster's funding," Hartman offered.

The sides said there are plans to shorten the time the public sector has for replying to requests.

Kristina Kallas said that the parties spent a long time discussing organization of public administration and how to render it more effective. "We talked about how to put ministers in charge of reforms, instead of just having them oversee the administrative area in general," Kallas remarked.

"We want to use this coalition to introduce new practice in the Riigikogu, render the political culture more debate-centered," the Eesti 200 politician said, proposing that party chairmen could go head-to-head in a fiscal policy debate before the state budget is passed.

Hartman said that clarification of the tasks of the Political Party Funding Supervision Committee (ERKJ) made for an important topic for SDE, and that a corresponding agreement was reached on Wednesday.

She added that culture, sport and integration are being discussed today.

In the field of culture, matters of fair compensation for creative persons and social guarantees were discussed, as well as how to find more private culture funding.

Taxation of streaming was another topic of discussion. "We agreed that this will be done. But we do not know how at this time," Hartmann said.


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Marcus Turovski

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