SDE chair opposes creating special Riigikogu Kallas investigation committee

Lauri Läänemets (SDE).
Lauri Läänemets (SDE). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

SDE chair Lauri Läänemets does not think that a special Riigikogu committee of investigation should probe the Kaja Kallas scandal. The SDE group in the Riigikogu has not yet taken a stand.

"The Center Party suggested this committee of investigation because there was a concern that the prime minister would not attend before Riigikogu committees. But in reality, it doesn't matter what the commission's name is, as long as the questions are addressed. If one or another committee resolves this issue and the public and parliament get answers, I don't see the necessity for it," Läänemets told ERR at a government press conference.

Jüri Ratas, vice-speaker of the Riigikogu and leader of the opposition Center Party, gave ERR a description of how a special committee of investigation would be formed in the Riigikogu.

"First, a proposal for an investigation committee must be submitted to the Riigikogu. According to the rules of procedure this would have to be a two-reading Riigikogu decision. This decision draft then is entrusted to the Constitutional Affairs Committee as the lead committee," Ratas said.

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs will vote on whether or not to send the bill back. Six of the 11 seats on the committee are held by coalition partners. So the formation of the investigation committee is ultimately dependent on the Social Democrats.

Eduard Odinets (SDE) supported the establishment of the commission of investigation during Tuesday's joint extraordinary public session in the Riigikogu. The Reform Party and Eesti 200 were against this.

Ratas argued, however, that even if Kaja Kallas reports to other committees an investigation committee is necessary.

Anti Allas (SDE), a member of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, told ERR this morning, before the government's press conference, that the group's stance on the issue had not yet been finalized.

"We have not yet reached a decision. We have to talk about the matter amongst ourselves; this could be done in the coming days," he said.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) will appear before the special committees of the Riigikogu next week and the following week to explain the background of the scandal caused by her husband Arvo Hallik's business activities.

During a government press conference, Kallas said that the security authorities surveillance select committee will be closed to the public owing to procedural rules, but she would not object to the anti-corruption select committee meeting being open.

"I have no preference; as far as I'm concerned, it could be public," she said.

Also, Kallas told ERR that she will not attend another special committee for the control of the state budget meeting on president's office financing. However, Isamaa chair Urmas Reinsalu is still pursuing this issue as well.

"I don't think it is in anyone's best interest. All of these questions have been answered, and as I said and cited the law, the minister is obliged to talk with the commission on matters within his or her authority. This is a matter for the minister of finance, who has been present on multiple occasions," Kallas explained.

On Tuesday, the Riigikogu held a joint extraordinary public session of the State Budget Control Select Committee and the Anti-Corruption Select Committee, to which Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform), CEO of Stark Logistic Kristjan Kraag, and CEO of Metaprint Martti Lemendik were among those invited to attend.

However, none of the mentioned people attended. Kaja Kallas said her busy schedule prevented her from attending. She added that the session's primary topic had nothing to do with the national budget.


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Madis Hindre, Kristina Kersa

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