No ban on alliances before election: Kallas

  • 2002-05-23
  • Baltic News Service, TALLINN
Local elections in Estonia this fall will be held in accordance with the existing law, Prime Minister Siim Kallas said on May 21.

"It seems the Parliament won't be changing the local government councils election law, as was proposed by the legal chancellor. This would anyway be followed by a lengthy legal dispute, and before that ends the local elections will already be over," he told reporters.

Political parties will in the meantime, he continued, prepare themselves for the elections in accordance with the valid law. Those who don't like the law have no grounds to expect any different rules.

Kallas said the decision of Legal Chancellor Allar Joks to contest the local elections law was a precedent.

"The usual practice is that before proclaiming a law, the president discusses it with the legal chancellor. That was so at the time of President Lennart Meri and is the same way now. Surely President Arnold Ruutel discussed the law with the legal chancellor before proclaiming it," Kallas said.

The legal chancellor, who on May 21 formally proposed that the Parliament change the recently adopted ban on pre-election alliances, said he hopes the matter will be solved before the local elections.

He proposed that MPs change the law in such a way that those who don't wish to run as independents or join a party list could register as candidates in local elections.

Under the constitution, the Parliament has 20 days to amend the law in accordance with the chancellor's suggestion. If it refuses to make changes in the law, a final decision about the law's conformity with the constitution will be made by the Supreme Court.

Joks argues that a ban on pre-election alliances would fail to ensure equal rights in the local elections and prevent a broad-based representation in local councils.