Speaker calls for restraint at opening of parliamentary session ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Speaker of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas.
Speaker of the Riigikogu Henn Põlluaas. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The President of the Riigikogu called for politicians to exercise more restraint at the opening session of the new parliamentary session on Monday. He also said false information and fears had been spread about the current coalition.

Henn Põlluaas (EKRE), who is also known as the speaker, said that it has been a tradition in Estonia to give the new coalition 100 criticism free days but this time, for this coalition, tradition was not followed.

"There have not been a hundred days of free of criticism or hate, spring or summer. This practice was violated by the opposition, the press and the president, who proclaimed a hundred hate-free days on April 24 but soon announced to foreign media that she hates a parliamentary party with a popular mandate," Põlluaas said (link in Estonian), referring to an interview President Kersti Kaljulaid gave to Foreign Policy magazine which was published this summer.

Põlluaas also said that hatred is an emotion, but state leadership and parliamentary work must be rational activities.

"Unfortunately, emotions often dominate in Estonia. Intelligence and reasoned discussion has been lost and replaced with baseless accusations and labeling," he said.

The Speaker of the Parliament said that Estonia still has a lot of room for improvement in terms of political culture.

"Declaring confrontation, excluding cooperation and discussion, spreading lies and fears about coalition and government parties, and damaging Estonia's image in foreign media does not honor the opposition or mainstream media."

But Põlluaas also called out at his fellow party and coalition members.

"At this point, however, I also want to call on the coalition, including my own party representatives, to exercise more restraint so as not to give themselves a chance to disparage or misuse their own words," he said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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