Isamaa head: Supreme Court allows majority to steamroll rules and procedure

Urmas Reinsalu.
Urmas Reinsalu. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Chairman of the opposition Isamaa party Urmas Reinsalu said that the top court's decisions regarding a recent appeal by opposition MPs cements the power of the parliamentary majority and basically allows the coalition to break the law to ensure the parliament's work ability.

"The Supreme Court's judgment summed up tells us that while obstruction exists as a phenomenon of parliamentary work, the majority has the right to limit it without really having to define those limits. The Supreme Court has basically ruled that the right to self-organization warrants violating the Riigikogu Rules and Procedures Act when ensuring the parliament's ability to work," Reinsalu told ERR.

The politician said that such a broad interpretation of the power of majority will come to affect parliamentary work. "My prediction is that we will see it come fall."

The start of the Riigikogu's fall session will see deadlines for responding to interpellations arrive and the first readings of bills. The Riigikogu opposition has filed a host of interpellations and bills for the purposes of obstruction. Reinsalu suggested that the top court's decision will give the coalition levers with which to affect future proceedings.

"This decision by the Supreme Court will provide psychological fuel for strengthening the power of the majority," he said.

Reinsalu said that the Supreme Court also opened a debate over the practice of tying the passing of bills to votes of confidence, suggesting it is unconstitutional. "An unprecedented number of bills tied to confidence votes were passed this week, and it is a matter of thorough analysis whether the Supreme Court's position means the bills themselves are contestable because of these violations of procedural norms."

The Supreme Court's Constitutional Review Chamber decided to throw out complaints by opposition MPs that sought to challenge decisions taken in the Estonian parliament to quash the opposition's filibustering tactics by limiting the number of bills and interpellations MPs can put forward.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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