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President says will not promulgate laws tied to confidence vote in certain cases

President Alar Karis and MP members of the National Defense Council.
President Alar Karis and MP members of the National Defense Council. Source: Office of the President

President Alar Karis said that he might refuse to promulgate bills the coalition has passed in the Riigikogu by tying them to a confidence vote if they are not associated with passing the draft budget. Karis described the continued parliamentary deadlock as embarrassing and stressed that the only the legislature can resolve it.

It [being tied to a confidence vote] cannot be the only reason, with whether bills are tied to the state budget or whether they're unconstitutional serving as reasons," Karis said when asked whether he plans not to promulgate bills that have been tied to a confidence vote in the government.

"But if we're going to see back to back bills tied to these confidence votes, I believe a decision needs to be made to reject such laws as it will end up destroying democracy and making the parliament redundant. You could just have the parliament convene once a year to vote on everything at once. That is not where we want to end up," the president said.

Karis said that there have been confidence votes in the Riigikogu before, mostly tied to the passing of state budgets.

"I perceive it as an option when it has to do with the budget. But whether all of the bills the government is planning to tie to a confidence vote really have a budget connection will become clear once they land in Kadriorg (after the Riigikogu passes them – ed.).

Commenting on the continued impasse in the Riigikogu, the president said both sides should take a step back.

"Everyone must take a step back. Only the Riigikogu can solve its own problems. I have invited heads of parties and Riigikogu groups to Kadriorg next week to talk to them and weigh their options. But it boils down to the professional ability and will of members of the Riigikogu. It is a little embarrassing now to look at," Karis commented.

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Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski

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