Estonia: Parliament speaker condemns MP's verbal attack against judges

  • 2017-03-24
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Chairman of the Estonian parliament Eiki Nestor also criticized a statement made by Conservative People's Party's (EKRE) parliamentary group chairman Martin Helme in the Riigikogu in which the latter threatened the judges whose decision made it possible to enter the first same-sex marriage in the population register.

Nestor said on social media that Estonia is a law-governed state and a part of that is an independent court that makes decisions not based on a world-view but effective laws.

"In the Soviet Union, the court's decisions were based on the party's decisions. Even the judge had to be a member of the party," Nestor said, adding that he sincerely believes that nobody would want such a court to return.

In a speech made in the parliament on Monday, Helme said in regard to the judges who allowed a same-sex marriage to be entered in the register that he wants their "heads to roll".

"I want a threat to be heard from this rostrum. I want the heads of Virgo Saarmets, Maret Altnurme and Kaire Pikamae to roll because it cannot be that some women come together and just change Estonian laws, and then decide that nobody can touch them," Helme said.

President Kersti Kaljulaid and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Priit Pikamae have both condemned the statements of Helme.

The Tallinn circuit court in January ordered the Harju county government to enter in the Estonian population register a marriage concluded between two men in Sweden. In February the Tallinn administrative court ordered the Ministry of the Interior to enter an adoption of a same-sex civil partnership in the population register.

The Registered Partnership Act stepped into force on Jan. 1, 2016, but its implementing acts have yet to be adopted in the parliament.

The legislative body finished the first reading of the implementing provisions on Nov. 25, 2015, after which it was decided that discussing the provisions would continue in the Legal Affairs Committee, where the last discussion concerning it took place on Jan. 21, 2016.