The motion of no confidence in the Minister of Finance Martin Helme, signed by 34 members of the Riigikogu, was not supported in the Riigikogu. 46 members of the Riigikogu voted for the motion of no confidence and nobody was against. However, the support of at least 51 members of the Riigikogu was needed to express no confidence.
Marko Mihkelson (Reform Party), who presented the motion of no confidence, noted that Martin Helme in his capacity as a member of the Government had persistently engaged in damaging Estonia’s security and international reputation and allied relations important to Estonia.
The motion of no confidence states that Martin Helme has called into question the reliability of Estonian elections and the independence of Estonian democratic institutions and has deliberately sown mistrust in the fundamental principles of the functioning of the Estonian state as a democracy. Martin Helme has also engaged in splitting the society and has attacked various social groups.
Minister of Finance Martin Helme and Minister of the Interior Mart Helme gravely attacked democratic elections in the United States of America, Estonia’s main security partner and ally, in a statement they made after the US presidential elections. They attacked our major ally’s domestic political right to self-determination and the newly elected president personally. Mart and Martin Helme’s unfounded accusations regarding US election fraud and their personal attacks towards the US president-elect Joseph R. Biden are unfounded, immoral and completely inappropriate for a member of Government. With such a statement, Mart and Martin Helme have caused extraordinarily severe damage to Estonia’s foreign and security policy interests.
The protection of human rights, the principles of the rule of law and the minorities are in the heart of Estonian foreign policy. By attacking Estonia’s foreign policy course and, besides that, the general principles of liberal democracy and by calling on to decide on the rights of minorities through a referendum, Martin Helme seriously jeopardises the reliability of the Republic of Estonia as a democratic state based on the rule of law in the eyes of the European Union and NATO allies. His activities place our country from the West to the East, and in the case of such an allegiance, we have no reason to expect allies’ support.
Martin Helme has also been continuously attacking the separation of powers, independent investigation, the administration of justice and the press.
“It is clear, having regard to all of the above, that Martin Helme is unsuitable for his office and therefore we propose that the Riigikogu express no confidence in the Minister of Finance,” the motion of no confidence states.
The members of the Riigikogu asked numerous questions of Minister of Finance Martin Helme, requesting for clarifications on the reproaches expressed in the motion of no confidence.
During the debate, Kaja Kallas (Reform Party), Viktor Vassiljev (Centre Party), Siim Pohlak (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) and Indrek Saar (Social Democratic Party) took the floor on behalf of their factions.
The Bill on amendments to this year’s state budget passed the second reading in the Riigikogu.
The Bill on Amendments to the State Budget for 2020 Act (252 SE), initiated by the Government, passed the second reading and was sent to the third reading.
Considering that the State Budget for 2020 Act was prepared in the autumn of the preceding year and some of the funding needs have changed, it is expedient to initiate an amendment of the state budget to achieve more effectively the aims set by state agencies. The Bill (252 SE) covers 85 amendments in total.
According to § 43 of the State Budget Act, in order to amend the state budget without amending the total amount of funds, the Government of the Republic may initiate a draft State Budget Amendment Act not later than two months before the end of the budgetary year.
During the debate, Aivar Sõerd (Reform Party) took the floor.
The Riigikogu heard replies to two interpellations
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas replied to the interpellation concerning the tourism sector support measures (No. 43), submitted by members of the Riigikogu, and Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps replied to the interpellation concerning the transition to instruction in Estonian (No. 42).
During the open microphone, Peeter Ernits took the floor.
The sitting ended at 8.06 p.m.
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.)
Riigikogu Press Service
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