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Today, Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise gave an overview of the activities in 2015–2016 to the Riigikogu. She expressed her delight that, over the past period of overview, the Riigikogu has assumed an increasingly active and independent role in the good spirit of the Constitution.

In the overview given to the Riigikogu, Madise confirmed that the majority of the provisions investigated by the Chancellor of Justice are constitutional, as it should be in a state governed by the rule of law. She said that Acts that are perceived as unfair are often thought to be unconstitutional. She admitted, however, that she is sad to see how many fellow citizens continue to be under the impression that there is one solution to all issues in Estonia, and namely the one they like.

Madise stressed that debate is a constant reality in a free society. It is bothersome but it is definitely better than “iron fist”.

Madise expressed her delight that, over the past period of overview, the Riigikogu has assumed an increasingly active and independent role in the good spirit of the Constitution. She also expressed the hope that the Riigikogu would establish itself even more strongly as an actual legislator.

The Chancellor of Justice also presented some recommendations to the Riigikogu in connection with transparency of the financing of politics and the forthcoming local elections. She stressed that the rules as to whose support can be accepted, and as to how the origin, time and amount of supports is disclosed, should apply uniformly to everyone, and on the principle that power is not tradable in the Republic of Estonia.

Madise said that at least the obligation to disclose sources of income should be extended to everyone who makes an election campaign even if they do not participate in the election campaign or the elections as a candidate, or are not directly affiliated to any political party.

Second, the Chancellor of Justice highlighted that, under law, the precepts of the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee must be public. In her words, if necessary, provisional legal protection can be applied for and, where appropriate, personal data must be concealed.

Madise proposed to consider permitting outdoor advertising again for local elections. She said that it is not reasonable to restore the situation where posters the size of a house littered public space, but a poster of moderate size for example with a candidate of an election coalition on the wall of a local shop or bus stop could, in her words, be totally appropriate and increase equality of opportunities.

As a priority of her office, the Chancellor of Justice also mentioned the situation in special care homes, care homes and homes where a close relative needs constant care.

During the debate, Kalle Laanet presented his position on behalf of the Reform Party Faction, Jüri Adams on behalf of the Free Party Faction, Peeter Ernits on behalf of the Centre Party Faction and Andres Anvelt on behalf of the Social Democratic Party Faction.

Two Bills were at the first reading in the Riigikogu:

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Law Enforcement Act (267 SE), initiated by the Legal Affairs Committee. It is a Bill which is motivated by a memorandum by the Chancellor of Justice. The aim of the Bill is to ensure efficient carrying out of the law enforcement operations “Everyone takes a breath test!”.

The Bill amends § 38 of the Law Enforcement Act by adding a special provision which regulates the duty of the police or other law enforcement agency to explain to persons their rights in the event of an operation “Everyone takes a breath test!” carried out to identify intoxicated drivers. It is a situation where, on the basis of § 25 of the Act, at a time and place chosen by a law enforcement agency, vehicles are stopped randomly and drivers are subjected to checking enabling establishment of intoxication by alcohol. The amendment is essentially a special provision regarding the general duty to give explanations and, in the case of such above-mentioned operations, makes the duty to give explanations dependent on the declaration of will of the person checked.

The Bill on Amendments to the Pre-School Child Care Institutions Act (224 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was at the first reading. It provides for support from the state budget to cover the catering costs for children of 5‒7 years of age who are acquiring pre-school education at municipal and private pre-school child care institutions, and sets the amount of the support at 1.5 euro per child.

During the debate, Krista Aru took the floor on behalf of the Free Party Faction.

The lead committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. 44 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of this motion and 33 were against. Thus the Bill was dropped from the proceedings of the Riigikogu.

Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting, the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Disclosure of the Materials of the Riigikogu Committee of Investigation of the VEB Fund” (234 OE), submitted by the Conservative People’s Party Faction, which provides for disclosure of the materials of the Riigikogu committee of investigation of the VEB Fund, will be included in the agenda for tomorrow’s sitting.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian).

Photos of the sitting.

Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu

(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
6316356; 515 3903
[email protected]
Questions: [email protected]