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Kallas: Maybe the president can help break Riigikogu deadlock

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) in the Vikerraadio studio at ERR.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) in the Vikerraadio studio at ERR. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

According to Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform), at a meeting with President Alar Karis on Tuesday, she explored the possibility that the president himself might be the one to broker an agreement between the parties in the Riigikogu, so that its work could resume at normal pace in the fall.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Kallas, President Karis said that he had reservations about linking so many bills to a vote of confidence in the government and thereby reducing parliamentary debate and the role of the parliament." If the government continues to take the opportunity to tie bills to a confidence vote, that is not a solution. I will not stand for it," Karis said.

According to Kallas, during her meeting with Karis, she asked the president whether he would consider being the one to help resolve the deadlock in the Riigikogu. The aim being to prevent a repeat this fall, of the recent situation, whereby the opposition continually disrupted the Riigikogu's natural working rhythm at every opportunity, leading the coalition to resort to extraordinary measures to ensure it continue its work.

"Perhaps it is the president, who will bring the party chairs together before the fall, so that he, as an outsider, can mediate, in order for us to reach an agreement," Kallas said on Vikerraadio show "Stuudios on peaminister" ("The Prime Minister is in the studio").

Discussing Karis' speech, Kallas said that in her view, the question had been posed wrongly and that linking the vote on bills to the question of trust is also inconvenient for the government.

"If we have to take over the work of the Riigikogu, then that is an additional burden for us. We do not want to do it, we want to do things according to the normal procedure. The question should be how many bills the opposition intends to tie to the filibuster," the prime minister said.

Kallas cited the example of the 20 bills that were not adopted during the previous Riigikogu session, due to the opposition's obstruction tactics

"If we don't push them through politically, we simply won't get these things done. What the opposition achieves - they want to block everything, so that the state budget cannot be passed, and then there will be extraordinary elections. /... / In any case, there has to be a solution here, so it cannot be like this. It is also not the right answer that you then don't do the things you have wanted to do," she said.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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