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Karis: I cannot say in advance which laws I will or will not promulgate

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President Alar Karis.
President Alar Karis. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

President Alar Karis said that he cannot guarantee the promulgation of laws after meeting with parliamentary group leaders on Wednesday, but will have to evaluate them one by one. He said that a clear link to the national budget is necessary. Karis also said that some party leaders, also from the coalition, had told him that the prime minister's resignation could help break the deadlock in parliament.

"All parties in parliament must be willing to compromise. There is no opposition and no coalition; there is only one parliament and its power to function," Karis said in a statement.

Karis said that endless night sittings render the people's representation meaningless.

"We all understand that there will be no special parliamentary elections right now. In any case, the current parliament will be able to form a majority government and pass a national budget," the president said.

Karis said that the majority of parliamentary party representatives told him that they are willing to leave behind both the obstructionist tactics that impede the operation of parliament but also the practice of adopting laws by linking them to confidence in government.

Karis said that in the event that the Riigikogu is unable to reach an accord, the ongoing impasse will persist for another three and a half years, until the next electoral cycle.

"First and foremost, I will evaluate the laws for their compliance with the Constitution. Second, I also want to understand how closely they relate in substance to the national budget. Only then can I decide if it was reasonable to tie one or more laws to the issue of confidence," he said.

ERR journalist Madis Hindre asked whether next year Karis will not promulgate any laws unrelated to the state budget at all.

Karis said that one of the reasons for the rejection of the law is that it does not comply with the Constitution. Rejecting the law, however, must not hamper the government's core duties.

"There are two reasons for rejecting the law: the first is the Constitution, and the other is when the government is unable to carry out its main duties. And one of them is the state budget. But it is not the only one. So Kadriorg has to independently review every law that the Riigikogu passes. I cannot say in advance that one law or another will not be promulgated," he emphasized.

In order to solve the stalemate in the Riigikogu, Karis called on the political parties to offer a compromise themselves and not to wait for a compromise from others.

Karis also said that, in addition to representatives from the opposition parties, people from the coalition parties thought that the prime minister's resignation could help resolve the crisis.

"There were political parties who felt that the two should be kept separate: one is the pressure that the opposition, in particular, is putting on the prime minister, perhaps to resign, and the other is what is happening in parliament. But there were also party leaders, and not only in the opposition, who thought that the resignation of the prime minister could be one of the solutions to move forward from here," Karis said.

Hindre asked the president about Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' statement that bill's connection to the state budget cannot determine whether it is passed due to government confidence.

"Of course it can," Karis replied. "This is the position of the president," he stressed.

Karis said that the only law that could be at all linked to the issue of confidence is the state budget law.

Karis met with Isamaa chair Urmas Reinsalu on Tuesday, and on Wednesday with Toomas Uibo, the chair of the parliamentary group of Eesti 200, Martin Helme, the chair of EKRE, Erkki Keldo, the chair of the Reform Party parliamentary group, Mihhail Kõlvart, the chair of the Center Party, and Jevgeni Ossinovski, the chair of the SDE parliamentary group.

In previous weeks, President Karis met with the speaker of the Riigikogu Lauri Hussar, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, the speaker of Eesti 200 and Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) and the SDE speaker and Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets. The purpose of all these meetings was to discuss the political situation in the Riigikogu.


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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Kristina Kersa

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