Riigikogu council of elders to discuss parliamentary work after filibuster

Riigikogu Council of Elders meeting, May 2023.
Riigikogu Council of Elders meeting, May 2023. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Deputy Speaker Toomas Kivimägi (Reform) said that the Riigikogu Council of Elders will convene next week to discuss how to proceed with the Riigikogu's work in light of the filibuster. The Riigikogu board did not reach any conclusions about the controversy involving Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform).

"The board resolved unanimously to convene a meeting of the Riigikogu Council of Elders with a single topic on the agenda: how to continue effective and efficient parliamentary work on September 11," Kivimägi told ERR.

Taking into account time for drafting and deliberations, Kivimägi said that the board reached an agreement that it would be possible to process between six and eight queries per week, and these should be addressed in the order in which they were submitted.

"This, I believe, gives a clear message to the opposition that if they want to submit queries on timely issues and receive answers, they must withdraw the questions they filed for filibustering and other purposes," Kivimägi said.

The council did not take a stance on the proposed committee of investigation

Both Tanel Kiik, the chair of the Center Party parliamentary group, and Helir-Valdor Seeder, the chair of the Isamaa parliamentary group, had previously sent a letter to the board requesting it to convene a meeting of the Riigikogu's elders to discuss the scandal surrounding Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and the business activities of her husband's logistics company Stark Logistics in connection with Russian shipments. The opposition also supports the convening of a special committee to investigate the matter further.

Regarding the proposal to set up a committee to investigate the controversy involving Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Kivimägi replied that the board lacks the authority to provide guidelines or assessments on the matter.

"Practically every member of parliament has the right to initiate a draft proposal [for setting up a committee of investigation]," he said.

"Concerning engagement with special committees, the board remains of the opinion that the board should not interfere excessively with the committees' work, but we highlighted three principles: first, committees can place matters within the scope of their authority on their agendas; second, if the committees want to summon a government official or the prime minister to their meeting, they will coordinate and set a date and time in advance; and the third principle that we emphasized was that we consider it the norm that members of the government, and the prime minister if necessary, are still required to attend committee meetings if invited, if the time is agreed upon, and if the subject is within the committee's oversight," Kivimägi said.


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Kristina Kersa

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