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At Question Time ministers answered the questions of the members of the Riigikogu.

Minister of Internal Affairs Ain Seppik answered the question of Member of the Riigikogu Mart Nutt about the entry of the Estonian citizens residing abroad in the electoral register and the maintenance of those registers, and the question of Aimar Altosaar about the labour shortage in the police.

Minister of Education Mailis Rand answered the question of Marju Lauristin about education allowances, the question of Elmar Truu about the improvement of the financing of education, the question of Tõnis Lukas about social benefits to students and the question of Liia Hänni about the restructuring of the Ministry of Education.

Minister of Culture Margus Allikmaa answered the question of Trivimi Velliste about financing the heritage conservation.

The Riigikogu passed the following Acts and the Resolution:

The Law of Ship Flag and Registers of Ships Act Amendment Act (952 SE), initiated by the Legal Affairs Committee, was passed with 35 affirmative votes. The Act is connected with the Act on the Accession to the International Convention on Maritime Liens and Mortgages. The Act makes amendments to the part concerning the deletion of a ship from the register and its entry in a new register. In addition the sanction for an obligor of certification is provided for failure to submit the data or for submitting the false data, in order to make him/her delete his/her ship from the previous register. A notion of rechartering as a new term was brought into the Act.

The Law of Property Act, Land Register Act and Associated Acts Amendment Act (989 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 55 affirmative votes (1 against). Due to the entry into force of the Law of Obligations Act, the Act brings the Law of Property Act and the Land Register Act into conformity, the Act also eliminates the problems and conflicts arising upon the implementation of the Law of Property Act and the Land Register Act.

The Riigikogu passed with 31 votes in favour the Refugees Act Amendment Act (572 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. Estonia has acceded to the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and to the Protocol on the Status of Refugees of January 31, 1967 and to the UN Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. During the accession negotiations between the Republic of Estonia and the European Union Estonia has also committed itself to ensure the domestic implementation of the named Conventions in accordance with the principles valid in the European Union. The Act ensures the fulfilment of the assumed obligations.

The Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Approval of the Principles of the Estonian Development Cooperation (1252 OE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 35 votes in favour. The economic development of Estonia and its integration into international organisations bind us to the obligation to increase our contribution to the achievement of global well-being in accordance with our increasing possibilities and international agreements. The named document stipulates the principles of Estonian development cooperation and the ways to achieve them.

The Riigikogu did not pass the Act unamended:

With no affirmative votes in favour and 73 votes against, the Social Welfare Act Amendment Act, refused to be proclaimed by the President of the Republic, was not passed unamended. Amendments will be made to the Act. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Social Affairs Committee is 23 January, 12.00.

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the following Bill:

It was decided to conclude the second reading of the Control of Communicable Diseases Bill (658 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, and to send it to the third reading. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Social Affairs Committee is 20 January, 12.00.

The Riigikogu suspended the second reading of the following Bills:

The Riigikogu Rules of Procedure Bill (1222 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Ignar Fjuk, Liia Hänni, Toomas Savi, Peeter Kreitzberg and Tunne Kelam. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Constitutional Committee is 20 January, 12.00.

The Bill on Amendments to § 108.1 of the Telecommunications Act (1110 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Economic Affairs Committee is 16 January, 10.00.

The Education Allowances Bill (862 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Cultural Affairs Committee is 20 January, 10.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the Universities Act and Institutions of Applied Higher Education Act and Associated Acts (1037 SE and 1125 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Cultural Affairs Committee is 20 January, 10.00.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the following Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Government of the Republic Act and to Other Acts in connection with the renaming of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications as the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Roads (1201 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Mart Nutt, Toivo Jürgenson and Vootele Hansen. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Constitutional Committee is 28 January, 10.00.

The Bill on Amendments to § 44 of the Health Insurance Act (1185 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Mai Treial and Elmar Truu. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Social Affairs Committee is 16 January, 12.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the State Pension Insurance Act (1200 SE), initiated by Member of the Riigikogu Aimar Altosaar. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Social Affairs Committee is 21 January, 12.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the Fishing Act (1248 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Vootele Hansen, Vambo Kaal and Kalev Kotkas. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Environment Committee is 20 January, 11.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act (1254 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Cultural Affairs Committee is 20 January, 10.00.

The Railways Bill (1257 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Economic Affairs Committee is 22 January, 12.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act (1260 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Finance Committee is 20 January, 14.00.

The Bill on Amendments to the Imprisonment Act and Health Care Services Organisation Act (1244 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The term for submission of motions to amend to the Legal Affairs Committee is 20 January, 12.00.
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The Constitutional Committee as the initiator withdrew the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Organisation of a Referendum for the Accession to the European Union (1214 OE) from the legislative proceeding.

The sitting ended at 21.39.

The Riigikogu Press Service

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