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At its today’s sitting, the Riigikogu decided to appoint Janar Holm as Auditor General for a new five-year period. The Riigikogu also appointed a new justice of the Supreme Court and decided not to pass again, without amendments, the amendments to the Foreign Service Act which the President of the Republic had refused to promulgate.

Holm assumed the office of Auditor General on 9 April 2018 and his powers last until 8 April 2023. Last December, President Alar Karis made a proposal to appoint Holm to the office of Auditor General for another five years.

Holm said in front of the Riigikogu that the last five years had been out of the ordinary, but in general the problems of the state had remained the same whilst many of them had become even more acute. “Five years ago I emphasised here that it is important that the National Audit Office look into the core functions of the state which most concern people’s lives: health care, the organisation of education, and social welfare. Infrastructure developments, large investments, energy, and the development of defence capabilities are resource-intensive. The National Audit Office has sent a number of reports on all these issues to the Riigikogu. All these issues should also be in the focus of the National Audit Office in the future as well. On top of that, there are the issues of how clear the distribution of our money is and how understandable the state budget is for decision-makers,” he said.

According to him, attention must also be paid to the green transition as it is a process that concerns all areas of life and its scale is even difficult to perceive. “I am emphasizing here that only in substantial debates does it actually become clear what is real and rational and what is really feasible and possible within the planned timeframe and what is not. Perhaps it would be necessary to become more sector-based and specific in this sphere, and to speak of what we are specifically doing in the energy sector, transport, agriculture, waste management, construction, and industry – so that there would be clarity and certainty for businesses, society and, ultimately, the state system,” Holm said.

Henn Põlluaas from the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction took the floor during the debate.

At the secret ballot, 61 members of the Riigikogu supported the passing of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of Janar Holm to the Office of Auditor General” (769 OE), submitted by the President. 14 voted against it.

At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu also passed the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of Margit Vutt a Justice of the Supreme Court” (752 OE), submitted by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. It appoints judge of Tartu Circuit Court of Appeal Margit Vutt a justice of the Supreme Court as of 17 July.

In the opinion of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Villu Kõve, Vutt is an experienced and recognised lawyer whose long and diverse professional experience in the judicial system and as lecturer of civil law at the School of Law of the University of Tartu will allow her to contribute significantly to the work of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court and the further development of Estonian civil law.

A public competition had been organised to find a new justice of the Supreme Court after the Supreme Court en banc had decided at the end of last November to release justice of the Supreme Court Peeter Jerofejev from office as of 15 July.

At the secret ballot, 55 members of the Riigikogu supported the appointment of the new justice of the Supreme Court and 10 were against it.

Today, the Riigikogu also deliberated again the Act on Amendments to the Foreign Service Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (45 UA), which the President of the Republic had refused to promulgate, and decided not to pass it again, without amendments.

The Riigikogu passed the Act in June 2020, in order to harmonise foreign service with the principles of public service and to make the current regulation clearer and simpler. Among other things, the Act was intended to update the foreign service salary system and to change the principles of the payment of the foreign mission allowance and reimbursement of the costs relating to long-term assignments abroad as well as the procedure for the assignment of specialised diplomats and non-staff administrative officials to foreign missions.

The President had refused to proclaim the Act, finding that it was in conflict with the Constitution as it prescribed that the allowance for spouse is paid to the spouse accompanying an official employed in a foreign mission when the official is sent on a long-term assignment abroad, but it is not paid to the official’s partner registered under the Registered Partnership Act.

The Constitutional Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee moved not to pass the Act without amendments and the plenary of the Riigikogu also supported it. 21 members of the Riigikogu supported the passing of the Act without amendments but 35 voted against.

Photos (Author: Erik Peinar / Chancellery of the Riigikogu)

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)

The video recording of the sitting will be available to watch later on the Riigikogu YouTube channel. (Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Karin Kangro
+372 631 6356, +372 520 0323
[email protected]
Questions: [email protected]