Fate of obstruction bills to be decided this week

Riigikogu. Source: Siim Lõvi/Priit Mürk/ERR

This week should bring clarity in terms of what the Riigikogu plans to do about draft legislation and interpellations proposed by opposition MPs during efforts at obstruction.

While the opposition Conservative People's Party (EKRE) has so far said it plans to return to filibustering in the fall and will make no concessions, the party's MP Henn Põlluaas said on Sunday that negotiations with the coalition remain a possibility.

"Compromises need to be a two-way street. The government cannot just force its bills through parliament and then tell us to retract ours. We are looking at the senseless and harmful car tax plan, hate speech legislation to muzzle society. These are just some of the things where we can compromise, say that if the government is willing to take a step back, so are we," Põlluaas said.

The MP said that interpellations can be retracted or merged, which also goes for some of the opposition's bills.

"We have a number of clearly obstructive bills, which we could retract. But we also have a number of businesslike bills regarding which there are no such plans."

Reform Party whip Erkki Keldo said that the parliament returning to work should be in the interests of all groups.

"It is very difficult to see how we could get through all of those interpellations and bills. If EKRE are willing to discuss how the parliament could get back to work –either in the Board of Elders or between party leaders – we are prepared to engage," Keldo said.

The Center Party also wants to be met half-way by the coalition if it is to pull some of its interpellations and bills.

"Whether we're talking about the planned car tax – dropping it or introducing important changes; whether it's the 2024 budget and considering the opposition's proposals therein; or some other concession on their part. But there is no reason to expect the opposition to let the coalition get away with pushing their every wish through in the spring only to do the same come fall," Center whip Tanel Kiik said.

The Board of the Riigikogu will convene in early August to discuss parties' proposals.

Riigikogu President Lauri Hussar did not rule out convening extraordinary sittings in August.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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