Estonian Opposition Parties Want Faster Minister Responses to Riigikogu Questions

Diego Rivera "The Alarm Clock" // Public domain

Estonian opposition MPs want to slash the timescale for responses to Riigikogu inquiries to government ministers, from a month, to four days, for the duration of the emergency situation at least.

The two opposition parties, Reform and the Social Democratic Party (SDE), say they want to amend the Riigikogu’s procedural rules to make responses to inquiries much faster during the emergency situation.

“The deadline for answering queries is so long that, for example, a question about opening schools or taking exams during the emergency situation will only be answered in June, when it is no longer relevant to the agenda,” said Reform chair Kaja Kallas.

“In these circumstances, the ministers should respond to the parliament within four working days,” Kallas added.

The issue has not yet been discussed by the Riigikogu’s constitutional committee, but Kallas expressed the hope that it will be soon, given the current, extraordinary situation. Kallas also expressed concern about the Riigikogu being relegated by the executive during the emergency situation.

“Also, considering that several members of the government have refused to appear before Riigikogu committees, saying that they do not have time for parliament; in a parliamentary state this should not be the case that the government simply does things on its own,” Kallas added.

Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) MP Paul Puustusmaa, of the Riigikogu’s constitutional committee, said he would comment on the opposition’s proposal after it had been discussed by the committee itself.

EKRE is in the coalition with the Center Party and Isamaa.

The article was originally published at:

Edited by Andrew Whyte

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