Today, the ceremonial sitting on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Riigikogu was held. The President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma and the President of the Republic Toomas-Hendrik Ilves delivered speeches on the occasion.
The President of the Riigikogu recalled to those present at the sitting the history of the Estonian parliamentarism starting from 23 April 1919 when the Estonian Constituent Assembly was convened. In her speech, Ene Ergma compared the activities of the parliament and the leaders of political parties of those times to what is happening today. “The majority democracy model which we have established, together with coalitions who gain but a narrow majority, is not perfect – it has even been called undemocratic because it is accompanied by the proverbial “road roller” of voting which has been called a “rubber stamp” even here in this chamber,” said Ergma. The President of the Riigikogu stressed that, in order to go on, Estonia needs quick decisions at present which guarantee jobs for people, security for families and balance in the state purse. “These values are certainly more important than the popularity of a political party or a person. May we have the strength to remember it,” said Ergma.
In the estimation of President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the Estonian Parliament starting from the Constituent Assembly had been hard-working and effective. “A good Act has a clear purpose, it is understandable and it is easy to comply with. Good legislators are not characterised by speedy proceedings of Bills, but the understanding of their responsibility and careful consideration of all arguments. Maybe it is here that the future of the work of the Estonian parliament lies – in the assessment of all impacts of decisions and avoidance of undesired consequences? For that, I wish you, dear Riigikogu, as well as all future representations of the Estonian people energy, statesmanship and responsibility,” said the President.
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip extended the congratulations of the Government of the Republic to the Riigikogu on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Estonian parliament with the following words: “Today we celebrate the Estonian democracy.” The Prime Minister wished to the Riigikogu energy and enthusiasm.
Other representatives of constitutional institutions also delivered anniversary speeches before the Riigikogu: the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Märt Rask, Auditor General Mihkel Oviir and Chancellor of Justice Indrek Teder.
Revalia Chamber Choir conducted by Hirvo Surva sang at the jubilee sitting of the Riigikogu.
The Riigikogu passed with 70 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the State Assets Act
), initiated by the Environment Committee. The State Assets Act is amended by adding a new section (§ 34¹) which provides the regulation of the transfer of the forest land retained in state ownership. Upon transfer of an immovable which includes forest land retained in state ownership, the owner of the immovable used as profit yielding land which contains a parcel of forest land which is bordering on the immovable to be transferred has the right of pre-emption upon acquisition of the immovable. The costs of the transfer of the ownership of the immovable acquired by the right of pre-emption are borne by the acquirer. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.
See the verbatim record (in Estonian) of the jubilee sitting:
The Riigikogu Press Service