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The Riigikogu made amendments to the Resolution on formation of the State Budget Control Select Committee (337 OE) with 76 votes in favour. According to the amendment initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, Andre Sepp was appointed a member of this Committee instead of Arto Aas. The amendment was due to the fact that the Deputy Chairman of the State Budget Control Select Committee of the Riigikogu Arto Aas had been elected the Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu.

On the initiative of the Cultural Affairs Committee, the Resolution on appointment of a member of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Council from among the acknowledged experts in the field of activity of the Estonian Public Broadcasting (361 OE) was passed with 69 votes in favour. According to the Resolution, Krista Aru was appointed a member of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Council as an acknowledged expert in the field of activity instead of Paavo Nõgene. The reason for making the proposal was the premature termination of the authority of the member of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Council Paavo Nõgene arising from his resignation from the office of the member of the Council.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act (330 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was concluded. According to the Bill, the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act is amended by adding a provision that allows the Board of the Riigikogu to appoint permanent cooperation partners of Committees from among citizens’ associations. On the basis of the Act which is currently in force, they have the right to participate in the work of a Committee when invited by the chairman of the Committee. The initiator confirmed that the aim of such an amendment is to increase the openness of the legislative body and to better engage national recognised citizens’ associations in the work of the Riigikogu Committees. The provisions of the Act which regulate the taking of minutes of the work of Committees are also amended. The initiators state that, in the interests of greater clarity and openness, the minutes of the meetings of Committees should also reflect how the members of the Committee voted and what positions they held in the issues that were discussed. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Riigikogu Election Act and the Political Parties Acts (329 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was concluded. The amendments are intended to reduce by two times the amount of the security payable upon standing as a candidate in the Riigikogu elections, that is, to one minimum monthly salary rate as established by the Government of the Republic, instead of the current two minimum rates, for each person nominated. The subsection is amended by adding an exception by which new registered political parties are exempted from payment of the security during four years upon participation in the Riigikogu elections. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Riigikogu Election Act (355 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Andres Herkel, Juku-Kalle Raid and Tõnis Lukas, was concluded. The essence of the Bill is to introduce an open national list in the Riigikogu elections. As the initiator confirmed, this would mean that the persons entered in the list of candidates of a political party would be ranked according to the number of votes received and taking into account the size of the electoral district. The amendment would eliminate the possibility that a candidate would be elected to the Riigikogu only owing to his or her position in the national list when the number of votes cast for a candidate positioned further down on the list forms a larger percentage of the simple quota of the respective district. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

The Riigikogu Press Service

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