TALLINN - Estonian President Alar Karis said at the opening of a commemorative plaque for the Constituent Assembly at the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn on Saturday that just like members of the Constituent Assembly back in the day, all elected representatives today, too, have a responsibility to stand up for their state and people.
In his speech, the president recalled the words of August Rei, chairman of the Constituent Assembly first convened 103 years ago, that Estonia must become a republic governed by justice and democracy. Karis said that this is indeed the state Estonia is today.
"However, Estonia is not fully completed. Estonia, like any other state, will never be completed. It means that constant care and attention is needed from those safeguarding the state, and in a parliamentary state this role is held by the parliament, or by the Riigikogu in Estonia," Karis was quoted by spokespeople as saying. "Just like members of the Constituent Assembly back in the day, all elected representatives today, too, have a responsibility to stand up for their state and people."
Karis expressed hope that the foundations of Estonia's statehood should remain strong, prosper and become broader, that no one should be insulted from the rostrum of the parliament, that legislative drafting should not be done on a whim and that laws should look further than the present moment and always be based on firm foundations -- the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, which has successfully stood the test of time.
The Estonian Constituent Assembly was convened for the first time at the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn on April 23, 1919, and elected social democrat August Rei as its chairman.