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Riigikogu speaker refused to permit nearly 150 MPs' queries

Speaker of the Riigikogu Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200).
Speaker of the Riigikogu Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Speaker of the Riigikogu Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200) sent back to MPs nearly 150 unsatisfactory queries posed during the filibuster.

MPs from the opposition submitted hundreds of questions, to which ministers would be required to respond in the Riigikogu. The president of the Riigikogu determines admissibility and rejects inappropriate questions.

By law, questions must be responded to within 20 sitting days. The deadline for regular sitting days would be September, but both the coalition and opposition are willing to convene in the summer for extraordinary sittings.

Hussar said last week that for the majority of questions, either the recipient, the subject matter or both did not match the procedural format and that at least 50 percent of requests were essentially worthless.

As opposition members submitted questions with the same content to all ministers, the speaker of the Riigikogu refused to permit queries with the same content as a single package.

On Monday, for example, Hussar returned 25 identical questions to 10 different ministers pertaining to the analysis of the amendments of family allowances.

MPs said that the amendment to the Family Benefits Act violates the coalition agreement to review family and parental benefits legislation, and they questioned ministers as to why the coalition is not abiding by the agreement.

They asked as to whether assessing the impact of a law after it has been enacted is a new political culture.

Hussar pointed out that the issues raised did not fall within the remit of all these ministers and should be referred to the minister responsible.

The speaker of the Riigikogu refused to permit, for example, a parliamentary question to the minister of climate concerning the upcoming climate law and the construction of the new Environment Building, because a parliamentary query cannot be used to obtain specific information on the state of affairs or a description of the situation; a written question must be submitted to the minister in such a case.


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Editor: Barbara Oja, Kristina Kersa

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