Call for Riigikogu investigative committee left off this week's agenda

Deputy Riigikogu Speaker Toomas Kivimägi (Reform).
Deputy Riigikogu Speaker Toomas Kivimägi (Reform). Source: Erik Peinar/Riigikogu

While a proposal aimed at setting up a dedicated investigative committee which would look at business activities involving the spouse of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) was filed in time last week, this week's Riigikogu agenda had been finalized by that time, and so the item was not included, Deputy Riigikogu Speaker Toomas Kivimägi (Reform) says.

The Board of the Riigikogu will nonetheless be meeting on an exceptional basis to discuss the proposal, Kivimägi added.

Deputy Speaker Kivimägi (pictured) said the bill tabling the proposal "arrived at the last hour, really. I would concede that it was actually among those bills whose deadline had expired, and, simply, since the agenda had already been prepared to the extent that it had, we assumed that this was precisely the volume that the Riigikogu can process, so we stuck with [that agenda] for this purpose. We thus didn't hurry to add [the proposal] on to the agenda."

During Monday's Riigikogu session implementation, Isamaa MP and chief whip Helir-Valdor Seeder, flagged the fact that while the item had made the deadline for submission, it was not included on this week's agenda.

Seeder also noted that in a situation whereby, due to a heavy workload, the Riigikogu's legal committee is unable to send bills to the chamber, the committee is meeting only once a week, rather than three times as it has the regular opportunity to do.

Last Thursday (link in Estonian), the Riigikogu's Constitutional Committee chose not to support the formation of an investigative committee to which would have been specifically tasked with examining the business activities of a company whose participants included the spouse of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform).

At the same time, a full plenary session of the Riigikogu is entitled to vote on the matter.

The committee proposed putting the bill on the agenda for September 19, ie. Tuesday.

Toomas Kivimägi said a proposal has been made to convene the Riigikogu council of elders this week, which he said he personally supports, but which has not been decided on yet.

The Riigikogu Council of Elders consists of the Riigikogu's board – the speaker and two deputy speakers – plus the chief whips of each of the six represented parties.

Kivimägi added that a seven-week deadline in respect of processing around 50 bills will fall next week, by which time the Riigikogu's board will have formed a position on how to start doing that, he said.

The Riigikogu's constitutional committee is on Tuesday again to discuss the bill for the creation of a committee of inquiry, via an extraordinary session, Kaja Kallas has also been invited to.

The prime minister has appeared twice before the Riigikogu's Anti-corruption Select Committee, first on September 4 and most recently on Monday. Both sessions were reportedly heated, while the prime minister said after Monday's meeting that she will no longer be submitting documents to the committee, adding that the committee is subjecting her to a political trial.

Leader of the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), Martin Helme also stated Monday that seven weeks have passed since the submission by his party of a bill to amend the Weapons Act, a bill which has not as yet reached the Riigikogu's legal affairs committee.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja

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