At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu rejected the Bill that aimed to specify the procedure for determining the representatives of the lists of political parties and election coalitions in the committees of councils.
The Bill on Amendments to the Local Government Organisation Act (578 SE), initiated by the Estonian Free Party Faction, provided that, first, in the formation of the membership of a committee of a council, the proportion of the representatives of political parties and election coalitions in the council had to be taken into account. Second, representatives of the list of a political party or election coalition would have been appointed to committees on the basis of applications by the political party or election coalition, and would have been approved on the proposal of the chairman of the committee.
As a justification, it was pointed out that whereas up to now it was for the chairman of a committee to form the committee, the Bill would have given the political forces the role to comply with the principle of proportional representation.
Representative of the initiators of the Bill Andres Herkel pointed out as the motive for the submission of the Bill that there were councils where the possibility to belong to a committee of the council was not ensured to all members of the council, although law had established a relevant provision in general terms. Herkel said that a reasonable proportion between the opposition and the coalition had to be ensured.
Member of the Constitutional Committee Helmut Hallemaa gave an overview of the discussions that had been held at the committee sitting, and pointed out the general attitude of the committee that there was indeed a problem but that culture should be tried to be changed by other means.
Artur Talvik from the Free Party Faction took the floor during the debate and called on MPs to vote for the Bill.
The lead committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. 42 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 33 were against. Thus, the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceedings.
Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) http://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/en/201803201000.
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.)
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