Riigikogu board seeking way to process opposition's amendments

Extraordinary plenary session of the Riigikogu.
Extraordinary plenary session of the Riigikogu. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Riigikogu's board on Tuesday will discuss how to proceed with hundreds of amendments submitted by the opposition parties to draft legislation during the parliament's last session. EKRE, Center, and Isama have no intention of retracting them.

Riigikogu Speaker Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200) believes a compromise needs to be reached.

"[S]o that we can move forward in the autumn so that Riigikogu can do its substantive work, and so that these bills and questions do not obstruct the Riigikogu's work. Or, in the case of extremely important and noteworthy bills and questions, that they would continue to be dealt with in Riigikogu," Hussar told Monday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

EKRE chairman Martin Helme said a compromise between the coalition and opposition parties should have been agreed upon earlier.

"Where is the compromise when the coalition gets everything it wanted? They did it by brute force, they got what they want and then sits down and says are we going to be nice now or [what]? We're not. There was always a point of compromise before when these bills were being negotiated," said Helme.

Lauri Hussar Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Isamaa Chairman Urmas Reinsalu sees no reason to withdraw the amendments.

"We have assumed that the work will be done in accordance with Parliament's Rules of Procedure. The question is what is the majority interpretation of this? I can see no reason why Parliament should not, for example, proceed with a bill that I myself introduced to deny citizenship to repeat offenders," Reinsalu explained.

Last month the opposition submitted almost 600 amendments to draft laws raising taxes and changing the law to allow same-sex marriage which should be answered by the coalition within 20 days.

As the spring session has ended, the next time the Riigikogu sits will be in September.

Martin Helme. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Riigiikogu's Deputy Chairman Toomas Kivimägi (Reform) has promised to make a proposal at the board meeting on Tuesday to answer the amendments in writing. 

"If it is not physically possible — and the opposition's aim has been that physically it should not be possible for the parliament to respond to them in time - what can we do? We cannot reply to them within the time limit laid down in the Constitution. A possible alternative is a written reply. Then at least they will have received an answer," Kivimägi said.

He said the coalition is prepared to hold extraordinary sessions but only if at least 35 members of the opposition are present.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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