Estonian parlt committee discusses appeals against PM Kaja Kallas, MP Mart Helme

  • 2022-08-11
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The constitutional committee of the Estonian parliament discussed on Thursday two collective appeals submitted to the Riigikogu, one of which sought the removal of MP Mart Helme from the parliament and the other the resignation of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

The committee said in its decision that resolving the collective appeal seeking Helme's removal from the parliament is not within the competence of the committee. In addition to the constitution, the resignation and expiration of the powers of members of the parliament are regulated by the Status of Members of the Riigikogu Act, and the law does not provide the option to remove an MP through a collective appeal.

Neither does the law provide the Riigikogu or any of its committees with the authority to adopt a decision concerning the resignation of an MP. The constitutional committee decided that due to the appeal  being directed at the resignation of Helme and with the latter having the competence to make the corresponding decision, the appeal will be relayed to him.

The constitutional committee condemned, however, Helme's inappropriate statements about women war refugees from Ukraine at the parliament's plenary on April 13 during first reading of a bill geared at amending the Aliens Act and Higher Education Act.

The committee decided to reject the second collective appeal seeking the resignation of the prime minister. The Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act provides an option to reject a collective appeal without substantive discussion if it coincides in content with an appeal that has been processed less than two years ago.

A similar collective appeal seeking the resignation of Kallas' first government was discussed by the constitutional committee at the start of summer 2021.