Kaljulaid: Let the Riigikogu discuss the migration framework

President Kersti Kaljulaid addressed the media following her meetings with the chairs of all three government coalition parties on Monday evening. 19 November 2018. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

President Kersti Kaljulaid on Monday afternoon invited the chairman of each coalition party in turn to Kadriorg to discuss the current situation and possible solutions to the government crisis that broke out on Friday. Addressing the press following the meetings, Kaljulaid said that the Riigikogu should discuss the issue.

In her address on Monday evening, Kaljulaid recalled that just eight days ago, she herself had stated her position on the issue, finding that the government had to reach a consensus regarding the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and, if necessary, discuss the matter with the Riigikogu as well.

She added that the situation had by now reached the point that nobody remembers that the opportunity exists in Estonia to discuss complicated issues in parliament.

According to the head of state, she was sorry to see that the direction of Estonia's longtime foreign policy had become an election issue. "This is what happens when you first and foremost see someone as a voter," she said. "This shows that we need to work every day in the name of upholding our values."

Kaljulaid stressed that it was not the Estonian state that is currently in crisis, but rather politics. "The key question isn't whether Estonia supports the migration framework, but rather whether the government is functional or not," she said.

'They don't know what the solution is'

Her meetings with Prime Minister and Centre Party chairman Jüri Ratas, Social Democratic Party (SDE) chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski and Pro Patria Party chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder confirmed that they do want to find a solution, but they don't understand what the solution should be.

"We must recall that our regime is a parliamentary democracy," Kaljulaid said. "I believe that it would be honest, if you see that there is no other way out of this jam, to hand this question over to the Riigikogu for discussion. Discussing this question in parliament is not releasing the government from its responsibility, but rather a foundation of democracy."

This would not solve the current government crisis, however. "A broad-based discussion and a decision by the Riigikogu would help take a step closer to a solution," she added.

The president expressed hope that the UN migration framework matter would be decided sometime this week already.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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