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EKRE leader: Likelihood of extraordinary elections lessened

EKRE chair Martin Helme.
EKRE chair Martin Helme. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Martin Helme, head of the opposition Conservative People's Party (EKRE), said on the "Esimene stuudio" talk show that while recent signs suggest extraordinary elections are less likely to occur, his party will not wholly give up obstruction tactics next year.

Helme said that the coalition has managed to move at its preferred pace as a result of what EKRE interpret as systematic violation of parliamentary rules and procedures, while the president has suggested he will likely promulgate the 2024 state budget in its current form, meaning that the probability of extraordinary elections has lessened.

"But this does not spell the end of our efforts to combat the government's insane economic, tax and family policies," he added.

Helme said that the party is pursuing obstruction tactics not out of spite, but to try and protect Estonia and the people from harmful policy, admitting that it is taking a toll on EKRE politicians as well.

He remarked that stalling tactics in the parliament should culminate in the president refusing to promulgate laws the government ties to votes of confidence.

Host Mirko Ojakivi pointed out that EKRE have not succeeded in preventing a single government bill so far, giving the examples of income tax and VAT hikes.

"That is not strictly true," Helme countered. "For example, there is no car tax. And they dare not tie the hate speech law to a confidence vote. However, it is much more important that we have managed to take these harmful decisions and processes to every voter, made the government pay a steep political price for them."

The EKRE leader said he still believes same-sex marriage legislation needs to be turned back, describing the law as working to dismantle society and having been passed without a mandate from the people.

Helme remarked that EKRE simply will not stand for same-sex marriage and promised to continue efforts to oppose it.

The party leader also listed obstructing legislation to criminalize hate speech as part of EKRE's priorities and said that the party is still of the mind that the 2023 parliamentary elections were not fair.

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Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Marcus Turovski

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