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The alternate member of the Riigikogu Koit Pikaro took the oath of office.

In connection with assumption of office, the members of the new government took the oath of office before the Riigikogu: Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps, Minister of Justice Rein Lang, Minister of Defence Jaak Jõerüüt, Minister of the Environment Villu Reiljan, Minister of Culture Raivo Palmaru, Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Edgar Savisaar, Minister of Agriculture Ester Tuiksoo, Minister of Finance Aivar Sõerd, Minister of Regional Affairs Jaan Õunapuu, Minister of Internal Affairs Kalle Laanet, Minister of Social Affairs Jaak Aab, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet and Minister Paul-Eerik Rummo.

President Arnold Rüütel signed before the Riigikogu the Resolution of the President of the Republic on the release from office of the government headed by Juhan Parts.

The Riigikogu passed four Acts:

The Riigikogu passed with 70 votes in favour the Environment Supervision Act Amendment Act (568 SE), pursuant to which a distinction is made between a state inspector and a local government inspector, because the scope of their supervisory obligations is not comparable. A local government environmental inspector is an official of a city or rural municipality government or an official of other self-governing agency, to whom the supervising obligation has been put according to the internal division of tasks or by a resolution of the council. Local government inspectors exercise supervision over the observation of resolutions concerning the environmental protection and the use of the environment, made by the council of the local government and they have the right to operate on the territory of the local government of their place of employment. The state environmental inspector as a representative of the executive power of the state and a person who has the right to apply enforcement measures is clearly distinguished from the local government inspector.

The Riigikogu passed with 71 votes in favour the Tourism Act and Associated Acts Amendment Act (566 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, which updates the regulation of accommodation establishments and also specifies some other provisions, the implementation and/or interpretation of which in practice has been rather problematic. The updating of the regulation of accommodation establishments is due to the wish to harmonise the provisions governing the acquisition of the right to operate by accommodation establishments and their operation with analogous provision governing many other fields of activity which require the registration of undertakings operating in the areas of activity subject to special requirements. Electronic registration in the register of economic activities ensures the general public a better access to the database of registered enterprises and simplifies the exercise of supervision. In order to acquire the right of operation, it is necessary for accommodation establishments to apply for approval of the local government. The approval is enacted by issuing an administrative act. Pursuant to the Act, an application for operation as an accommodation establishment should be submitted to the city or rural municipality government. Administrative acts will no more be issued on the right to operate, the data of enterprises will be entered in the register.

The Riigikogu passed with 69 votes in favour the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and Associated Acts Amendment Act (383 SE and 567 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic and Members of the Riigikogu Marika Tuus and Kaarel Pürg. The Act imposes restrictions on illegal handling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, establishes state fees for acts involving narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and their precursors, creates a national database of the drug addiction treatment and stipulates restrictions by amendments to the Medicinal Products Act in order to ensure more homogenous distribution of pharmacy services throughout the entire state.

The Riigikogu passed with 67 votes in favour the Verification of Cause of Death Act (557 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act stipulates the conditions of and procedure for the verification of the cause of death and pathology related activities, the bases of carrying out forensic pathological autopsies and forensic examinations, the use of dead bodies, organs and tissues in study and research work, the financing of the activities concerning the verification of the cause of death and pathology, the collection of data concerning the cause of death and the supervision over the performance of acts.

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of four Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Environmental Monitoring Act (579 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Income Tax Act, Social Tax Act and Taxation Act (596 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Tobacco Bill (350 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Population Register Act (485 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of four Bills:

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Extension of the Use of the Estonian Defence Forces Units in Performance of International Duties of the Estonian State under the International Security Assistance Mission in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Iraq (609 OE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Technical Regulations and Standards Act (604 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the State Audit Office Act and Local Government Organisation Act (614 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the State Audit Office Act and Local Government Organisation Act (603 SE), initiated by the Isamaaliit Faction.

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The Government of the Republic as the initiator rejected the Bill on Amendments to the Language Act (597 SE) from the legislative proceeding.

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At Question Time, before the beginning of the sitting, the members of the outgoing Government – Minister of Foreign Affairs Rein Lang, Minister of Social Affairs Marko Pomerants and Minister Paul-Eerik Rummo answered the questions of the members of the Riigikogu.

The questions asked at the Question Time and the answers to them as well as the verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting are available (in Estonian) on the Internet at:

http://web.riigikogu.ee/ems/plsql/stenograms.form

The Riigikogu Press Service

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