At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu rejected the Bill on the national anthem of Estonia, which aimed to establish the national anthem as one of the national symbols by law, and to determine the procedure for using the national anthem.
The explanatory memorandum of the Bill on the National Anthem of the Republic of Estonia (577 SE), initiated by the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction, noted that the symbols – the flag and the national coat of arms – of the Republic of Estonia and the procedure for using them had been established by law, but the national anthem had not been defined at the legislative level.
When presenting the Bill, representative of the initiators of the Bill Mart Helme said that the Estonian Conservative People’s Party wanted the national anthem to be fixed by law as an official symbol of the Republic of Estonia.
Chairman of the Constitutional Committee Marko Pomerants gave an overview of the discussions that had been held at the committee sitting, and pointed out that the committee had decided to move to reject the Bill at the first reading. He noted that the Constitutional Committee had decided to initiate amendment of the Estonian Flag Act.
During the debate, Laine Randjärv from the Reform Party Faction, Toomas Jürgenstein from the Social Democratic Party Faction, Mart Nutt from the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction, Aadu Must from the Centre Party Faction, Martin Helme from the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction and Andres Ammas from the Free Party Faction took the floor and presented their positions.
The lead committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. 51 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion, 8 were against, and there was one abstention. Thus, the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceedings.
Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) http://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/en/201803131000.
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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