The Riigikogu rejected at the first reading the Bill on Amendment of Medicinal Products Act, initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction and the Faction Isamaa.
Riina Sikkut, who took the floor on behalf of the Social Democratic Party Faction in the debate, moved to reject the Bill on Amendments to the Medicinal Products Act (118 SE) at the first reading. 50 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 46 voted against.
The aim of the Bill was to eliminate the restrictions on ownership from the Act. Any natural or legal person, including a wholesaler of medicinal products, could have been an owner of a pharmacy. Also, branch pharmacies would not have had to terminate their activities in cities with a population of over 4,000 people.
During the debate, Siim Kiisler (Isamaa) also took the floor on behalf of his faction.
The Bill on Amendments to the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) Act (97 SE) was at the second reading. It will specify the formation of the membership of the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia, and the requirements for members of the supervisory board, and the term of their mandate.
The Bill will provide for the additional requirement that all political parties in the Riigikogu must be represented in the board, and experts in the field are also included in the board. The membership of the Supervisory Board of the Bank is meant to reflect how the Bank of Estonia is accountable to the Riigikogu. Therefore it is appropriate that the membership of the board include representatives of all political parties represented in the Riigikogu. The amendments specify that the factions of the Riigikogu will appoint their representatives, and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia will appoint the experts in the field. It will be specified that the members of the supervisory board will have to have sufficient knowledge and experience to participate in the work of the board, and no member of the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia may be appointed for more than two consecutive terms.
According to the explanatory memorandum, the political independence of the Bank of Estonia from the executive power is manifested in that the Riigikogu appoints the Chairman and members of the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia. The Supervisory Board is above all a controlling body that adopts decisions in the most important issues, appoints the leading officials of the Bank of Estonia to office and exercises supervision over their activities.
After the motions to amend the Bill had been approved, the second reading of the Bill was suspended because the European Central Bank must also be notified of amendments to the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) Act. The proceedings on the Bill will continue after a reply to the notification will have been received.
The Riigikogu did not support expressing no confidence in the Minister of the Interior Mart Helme
The motion of no confidence in the Minister of the Interior Mart Helme was not supported in the Riigikogu today. 44 member of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion of no confidence submitted by 46 members. 42 voted against. The support of at least 51 members of the Riigikogu was needed to express no confidence.
The Chairman of the Reform Party Faction Kaja Kallas, who submitted the motion of no confidence, said that the reason for the motion of no confidence was the personal attack on the Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin by the Minister of the Interior Mart Helme. “With his use of language, the Minister of the Interior has damaged the relationships between Estonia and Finland and the reputation of the Estonian state. He has degraded women and people of various social background. Mart Helme’s conduct shows unequivocally that he is not suited to bear the responsibility of a member of the Government,” Kallas said.
The Minister of the Interior said that the accusations against him had been made up. “I have not once degraded or insulted the Finnish people,” the Minister of the Interior asserted. “The truth is that I cannot agree to the course of the current Finnish Government and its ideological platform. And I have the right to say this as a private person as well as a member of the Republic of Estonia. This does not mean that we should pick a fight with Finland,” he added.
Photos of the sitting
Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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