Today, the Riigikogu discussed the Bill that was intended to introduce an open national list in the municipal council and Riigikogu elections.
The Bill on Amendments to the Riigikogu Election Act and the Municipal Council Election Act (550 SE), initiated by the Estonian Free Party Faction, provides that the persons entered in the list of candidates of a political party will be ranked according to the number of votes received and taking into account the size of the electoral district.
Andres Herkel, who made a report, noted that the Bill was intended to eliminate the possibility that a candidate was elected to the Riigikogu or Tallinn City Council only owing to his or her position on the national list while at the same time the number of votes cast for a candidate positioned further down on the list formed a larger percentage of the simple quota of the respective district.
Representative of the Constitutional Committee Helmut Hallemaa said that the committee had thoroughly weighed different aspects related to the Bill that had been compared with the system in use. He added that in his opinion the issues concerning the electoral system should be discussed integrally.
Representatives of factions who took the floor during the debate presented their arguments concerning the organisation of the electoral system. Arto Aas (Reform Party) noted that the amendment would affect about ten per cent of the members of the Riigikogu. It is a relatively marginal amendment. Aas said that closed lists of candidates also had their value for example in terms of building intra-party organisation, and involvement. He considered the existing system reasonable. In Jüri Adams’s (Estonian Free Party) opinion, the Bill would help reduce the shortcomings of the system in use. In Helmut Hallemaa’s (Centre Party) opinion, the proposed system was complicated. He considered it necessary to organise a broad discussion in the further proceedings on the Bill.
On the motion of the Constitutional Committee, the first reading of the Bill was concluded. The deadline for submission of motions to amend is 8 February.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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