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The Riigikogu discussed the Proposal No 21 of the Chancellor of Justice: Application of the requirements for applying for citizenship with regard to persons whose legal status was not defined while they were less than 15 years of age. The Chancellor of Justice Indrek Teder analysed the relevant provisions of the Citizenship Act in regard to application of the requirements for applying for Estonian citizenship with regard to persons in the case when, due to inactivity of the legal representative of the child, a residence permit was not applied for for him or her while he or she was less than 15 years of age. The Legal Chancellor who presented a report stated that, in regard to the abovementioned, clauses 6 2), 21) and 22) of the Citizenship Act are in conflict with the fundamental right to equality arsing from subsection 12 (1) of the Constitution, and he made a proposal to bring the relevant provisions of the Citizenship Act into conformity with the Constitution. In Teder’s words, according to the Citizenship Act, an applicant must live in the state on the basis of a residence permit for at least eight years before submission of an application for Estonian citizenship. In addition, the existence of a residence permit of a long-term resident or the right of residence is also necessary. However, compliance with these requirements is impossible for a person who had no residence permit before attaining 15 years of age or whose residence permit had not been extended in due course as a result of inactivity of his or her legal representative although he or she has actually permanently resided in Estonia. 80 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the proposal of the Chancellor of Justice. As the Riigikogu supported this proposal, the Constitutional Committee was tasked with initiation of a Bill for bringing the Citizenship Act into conformity with the Constitution.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee, the first reading of the draft Resolution on amendment of the Resolution on formation of the State Budget Control Select Committee (337 OE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, was concluded. According to the draft Resolution, Andre Sepp is appointed a member of the State Budget Control Select Committee instead of Arto Aas. The draft Resolution had been submitted due to Arto Aas having been elected the Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu. The draft Resolution was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Environmental Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Hunting Act (328 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Helmen Kütt, Karel Rüütli, Aivar Riisalu, Lembit Kaljuvee and Rein Randver, was concluded. The Bill is intended to avoid a situation where, on 1 March 2013, hunting would be suspended in 64 lease hunting districts in which hunting districts have not as yet been created. The initiators point out that the Hunting Act provides the obligation of the Minister of the Environment to create hunting districts, and that the current 10-year term for performance of the obligation will expire on 1 March 2013. In the opinion of the initiator, there is an actual risk that hunting will be suspended in 64 current lease hunting districts because of the failure to create districts. For resolution of the situation that has emerged, the initiators propose the extension of the current term by five years. 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 Political Parties Act (304 SE), initiated by the same Committee, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to organise the technical provisions relating to the financing of political parties which serve as the basis for submitting uniform and clear reporting by political parties. The amendments bring the accounting terms and principles used in the Political Parties Act into conformity with the general financial accounting terminology and principles, and provide a uniform web-based form for reporting which, among other things, will also reduce the administrative burden related to the reporting. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting of the plenary assembly, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act (292 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was adjourned and it will be resumed on Wednesday, 16 January, at the sitting beginning at 2 p.m.

The Resolution “Making a Proposal to the Government of the Republic” (290 OE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was not passed at the first reading. 28 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Resolution and 36 voted against.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee, the Draft Resolution “Formation of the Riigikogu Study Committee for Ascertaining the Development Objectives of Local Government Administration Organisation” (302 OE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was rejected at the first reading. 42 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion to reject and 29 members voted against. The draft Resolution was dropped from the legislative proceeding.

The Riigikogu Press Service

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