Opposition's appeal reaches Supreme Court on Thursday

Supreme Court of Estonia in Tartu.
Supreme Court of Estonia in Tartu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

An appeal by Riigikogu members from the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), the Center Party and Isamaa against a decision by the Riigikogu, which limited its ability to continue a filibuster, has reached the Supreme Court of Estonia.

The appeal, which was signed by 38 Riigikogu members from the Isamaa, Center and EKRE parliamentary groups, reached the Supreme Court on Thursday evening.

 The complainants are asking to annul the decisions made by the Riigikogu on May 15 and 16 to suspend procedural questions and interpellations. They consider these decisions to be unlawful, Supreme Court spokesperson Arno Põder told ERR on Friday.

The Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court will hold an organizational meeting on Monday evening to set out a timetable for resolving the appeal. They will also discuss whether and to what extent it is possible to publish the text of the appeal, Põder added.

On Thursday, lawyer Paul Keres, who is representing the opposition, told ERR that they do not wish the text of their appeal to the Supreme Court to be made public.

The appeal has been signed by Martin Helme, Mart Helme, Helle-Moonika Helme, Arvo Aller, Ants Frosch, Rene Kokk, Anti Poolamets, Evelin Poolamets, Henn Põlluaas, Varro Vooglaid, Rain Epler, Kalle Grünthal, Kert Kingo, Siim Pohlak, Jaak Valge (All EKRE), Jaak Aab, Vadim Belobrovtsev, Enn Eesmaa, Andre Hanimägi, Aleksei Jevgrafov, Jaanus Karilaid, Ester Karuse, Tanel Kiik, Andrei Korobeinik, Anastassia Kovalenko-Kõlvart, Lauri Laats, Tõnis Mölder, Jüri Ratas, Kersti Sarapuu, Aleksandr Tšaplõgin (All Center), Aivar Kokk, Tõnis Lukas, Mart Maasik, Andres Metsoja, Urmas Reinsalu, Helir-Valdor Seeder, Priit Sibul and Riina Solman (All Isamaa)

In total, the opposition has 41 seats in the Riigikogu. However, Keres acknowledged on Thursday that he may not be able to mandate all of them in time as some are currently abroad.

On Wednesday May 17, the opposition announced their intention to appeal to the Supreme Court in response to the actions of the coalition and the Riigikogu's leadership during sessions held on Monday May 15 and Tuesday May 16.

The opposition says that its right to deploy obstruction tactics as part of the democratic process was hindered when MPs from the Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition, who make up a majority at the Riigikogu, voted in favor of ending the taking on of legislative amendments and inquiries.

The proposal to end the filibuster was made by the Riigikogu board, namely the speaker, Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200) and his two deputies.

The filibuster itself related to amendments to family law which would cut benefits to families. This bill did then pass its first reading (of three).


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Editor: Michael Cole

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