Terras: No need to make big deal out of Eesti 200's moves in Riigikogu

Hendrik Terras (Eesti 200).
Hendrik Terras (Eesti 200). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

In light of the ongoing obstruction in the Riigikogu as well as preparations for the next elections, Toomas Uibo is a better fit for Eesti 200 whip than Marek Reinaas, Eesti 200 deputy chair and newly appointed Riigikogu Constitutional Committee chair Hendrik Terras said Monday.

According to Terras, there's no need to take a dramatic approach to Reinaas being swapped out for Uibo as the coalition party's parliamentary group chair.

"Considering obstruction being organized by Isamaa, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and the Center Party, the party's assessment has changed regarding the Riigikogu's working process, which requires a different approach during obstruction than was expected when starting work following the elections," he explained, justifying the switch.

"At the same time, however, political life as a whole hasn't come to a standstill," the deputy chair continued. "The party is living its life and is already gearing up for the next elections, which requires various contributions from people in the party based on that need."

The makeup of Eesti 200's parliamentary group board will remain the same, still consisting of Kadri Tali, Marek Reinaas and Toomas Uibo, Terras pointed out.

"Two of them are trading places, therefore there's no reason to take this matter so dramatically," he added.

Izmailova bypassed for Taro

The party appointed Igor Taro to replace Tarmo Tamm as chair of the Riigikogu's Environment Committee, changing course from its June plan to appoint former Estonian Greens leader Züleyxa Izmailova, who had campaigned specifically on tackling environmental issues, to the role.

Terras said that the Eesti 200 parliamentary group had discussed the matter, and that the decision was based first and foremost on Taro's positive personal qualities.

"Taro is very good at balancing, and is capable of striking compromises and solutions for moving forward," he explained. "Moreover, he has already done a very good job as chair of the Constitutional Committee in the first few months of this makeup [of the Riigikogu], and it was on this basis as well that the parliamentary group's decision was unanimous."

With Taro being shifted to the Environment Committee, Terras himself will now be taking over as chair of the Constitutional Committee of the Riigikogu. He has chosen lowering the voting age to 16 in Riigikogu and European Parliament elections as his most important issue in the committee.

"I've spoken about this fo some time already, and this will certainly be the main issue for me in the Constitutional Committee, because young people today are so smart and socially engaged that I see no reason why they shouldn't be able to vote in all elections," Terras said.

"As shown by Estonia's experience with lowering the voting age [to 16] for local elections in 2017, this has only positive effects, and will ultimately bring about the greater inclusion of young people in society," he explained. "I consider this very positive and necessary."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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