EKRE chair: We're taking Riigikogu board to court

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EKRE chair Martin Helme at the first sitting of the Riigikogu's 2023 fall session on Monday. September 11, 2023.
EKRE chair Martin Helme at the first sitting of the Riigikogu's 2023 fall session on Monday. September 11, 2023. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Martin Helme, chair of the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), has promised to take the Board of the Riigikogu to court over the limitation of responding to interpellations.

"We're apparently going to court," Helme told ERR on Tuesday. "There is a parliamentary group meeting tomorrow, where we'll finalize this with the group."

President of the Riigikogu Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200) declined to add 17 overdue interpellations, submitted by EKRE and still awaiting responses, on the agenda of the opening sitting of the new session of the Riigikogu on Monday.

Hussar explained that for Tuesday's agenda, the Board of the Riigikogu was guided by the principle that first to be added to it are all bills remaining from the spring session, and next in line are six interpellations that the Riigikogu will address that day.

"If Hussar says that this spring's Supreme Court ruling gives them that right, then he is completely misreading that spring court ruling," Helme said. "This spring's court ruling stated that the Board of the Riigikogu may in the interests of continuing work terminate procedural issues if the subject has been exhausted, so to speak, and may restrict the delivery times for interpellations and bills."

As for the inclusion of an interpellation on the agenda, both the Riigikogu's rules of procedure as well as the Constitution unequivocally state "20 days, and that's it," he added, referring to the requirement that the reply to an interpellation must be provided at a sitting of the Riigikogu within 20 days of its transmission to the addressee.

"There's no room for maneuvering here whatsoever for either the board or the [Session Hall]," the EKRE chair stressed. "It isn't possible for the Board of the Riigikogu to decide that they can cancel some clauses in the Constitution because it's more convenient for them that way."

Helme said that EKRE has ten days to take the matter to court, adding that the party would once again be represented in court by attorney Paul Keres.

Opposition Isamaa chair Urmas Reinsalu told ERR that Lauri Hussar is engaging in legal voluntarism, adding that the latter's attitude is to not adhere to the provisions of the law.

He noted that Isamaa hasn't currently discussed the possibility of going to court, but won't rule various options out.

Speaking on behalf of the opposition Center Party parliamentary group, Ratas told ERR that while the Center group hasn't discussed going to court, he doesn't consider it likely.

"I don't believe the Center group will go to court with this case," Ratas said.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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