Speaker: We will discuss future steps in the Board of the Riigikogu

Lauri Hussar.
Lauri Hussar. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

President of the Riigikogu Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200) said that the parliament plans to discuss the Supreme Court's recent decision not to hear the opposition's challenge of decisions to quash filibustering in the Board of the Riigikogu and Board of Elders.

"I sincerely hope the decision will help the Riigikogu to restore peace and return to its habitual work rhythm," Hussar told ERR.

Hussar highlighted the importance of the top court's position regarding the parliament's self-determination right and aspects of managing its work. "The Supreme Court's decision is clear in that a vote to end procedural questions cannot be challenged," the speaker pointed out.

He said that at the decision's core lies the right of the Board of the Riigikogu (president and vice presidents) to decide whether to limit bills and interpellations.

"What the Board of the Riigikogu did in deciding to limit the number of bills and interpellations that can be submitted was legal, and I find it vital that the Supreme Court has also thoroughly touched on obstruction. The Supreme Court provides that while a certain measure of obstruction must be tolerated, it cannot be used to paralyze the work of the parliament to a point where the legislator becomes unable to perform its constitutional tasks. That would amount to misuse of the powers of the minority," Hussar said.

The speaker said that the decision will first be analyzed by the Riigikogu legal department, followed by the Board of the Riigikogu and possibly the Board of Elders (made up of the president, vice presidents and chairmen of Riigikogu committees).

Hussar added that it is possible the ruling could provide grounds for revising some Riigikogu rules and procedures.

"As concerns bills and interpellations already entered into proceedings, it would be best if the opposition withdrew them. It is one thing to be discussed in the Board of the Riigikogu, alongside potential future steps."

Läänemets: We want to find solutions

Head of the coalition Social Democratic Party (SDE) Lauri Läänemets said that the top court's decision sends a signal to both opposition and coalition that everyone is responsible and should try and find solutions.

"In the end, it is possible to have a discussion and a debate when everyone wants to. Simply trying to block things only to take offense when it turns out they couldn't be blocked is not right. "I believe the Supreme Court has sent a message to both the opposition and coalition. We want to look for solutions come fall."

Läänemets also commented on opposition EKRE MP Henn Põlluaas' notion of replacing Supreme Court judges. "I believe it is condemnable, questioning the Supreme Court like that."

Läänemets' message to EKRE leaders was that it is time to grow up instead of throwing tantrums in the corner.

"It needs to be understood that the Supreme Court did not say obstruction should not be pursued. It said that obstruction is a normal phenomenon and permitted in a democratic country. It simply must not halt the parliament's work," Läänemets remarked.

The Supreme Court's Constitutional Review Chamber on June 22 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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