Estonian parlt committee dismisses petition calling for PM's resignation

  • 2024-02-13
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The constitutional committee of the Estonian parliament on Tuesday did not discuss a collective address calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, signed by nearly 30,000 people.

Opposition Center Party MP Anastassia Kovalenko-Kolvart considered it unacceptable that a petition with 30,000 signatures is simply left unreviewed and found that the decision of the constitutional committee shows that the coalition is ignoring public opinion and devaluing the idea of the petition.

"The Riigikogu is obliged to process a petition that has at least a thousand signatures, but the coalition of the Reform Party, the Social Democratic Party and Estonia 200 does not want to listen to the voice of the Estonian people. The majority of the constitutional committee, led by chairman Hendrik Terras, have given a clear signal that the opinion of the people is not important to them," Kovalenko-Kolvart said.

"There were more than enough reasons and motivations for discussing the petition: people are getting poorer, the economy is falling, companies are going bankrupt, unemployment is increasing," the Center Party MP said. "The government is not capable of solving any crisis -- be it a teachers' strike, large-scale power outages in southern Estonia or the current economic crisis. We see that the prime minister is acting arrogantly at that, offering a car tax as a solution to the problems. If the stated reasons are not a sufficient basis for discussion in the case of a popular initiative, then what can be? What else needs to happen for the coalition in the Riigikogu to be ready to hear and discuss social opinion?"

According to Kovalenko-Kolvart, the hallmark of a strong democratic society is where public opinion influences the processes and discussions in the Riigikogu, not the other way around.

"The same thing happened with the petition against car tax, which had almost 80,000 signatures, but which did not make it past the committee. However, the coalition's votes against social initiatives show that they do not even want to open a debate on such an important issue. Different polls show that two-thirds of the Estonian people are against the continuation of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. It would be fair if every member of parliament could express their opinion on this matter at a plenary session of the Riigikogu," the MP said.