Jüri Ratas: Supreme Court ruling provides legal clarity

Jüri Ratas.
Jüri Ratas. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Vice President of the Riigikogu Jüri Ratas (Center Party) said that the Supreme Court's decision regarding the opposition's complaint over Riigikogu decisions to end filibustering provides legal clarity. Ratas urged all parties to find a compromise by the start of Riigikogu's fall session.

"I believe it delivered much-needed legal clarity. On the one hand, the Supreme Court decided not to hear the opposition's complaint, while it also means that it is in the scope of the Riigikogu's self-determination right to decide how to limit bills or interpellations being entered into proceedings. I believe that does provide legal clarity," Ratas told ERR.

"I also find important where the Supreme Court says that the parliamentary majority must consider constitutional requirements when enacting its will in the parliamentary decision-making process, consider the rights of the minority. The Riigikogu Board of Elders should convene in the summer and hold a relevant debate," Ratas added.

Talking about interpellations already entered into proceedings, Ratas said members of the government should address them on the floor.

"Interpellations are sent to the government by the Riigikogu president. There has been a strong tradition that properly presented and legal interpellations will be addressed in person and not in some other way, for example, in writing. Interpellations are to be addressed in front of the Riigikogu," the former speaker said.

Ratas admitted that while the sheer number of bills and interpellations constitutes a burden on the Riigikogu and government, it is possible to seek political compromises where certain bills or interpellations are withdrawn, while this requires an agreement between party leaders. "And I believe that such a compromise should be found," Ratas said.

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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