In a letter sent to the leaders of Estonia’s political parties on Wednesday, Martin Helme, chairman of the opposition Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE), stated that not only the car tax, but all the tax increases that have already been made or are about to be made by the current composition of the Riigikogu must be canceled and reversed, and that an emergency election is needed to break the deadlock.
“The increases in all fees and charges must also be reversed. The avalanche of tax increases ignores the simple principle of economic governance that when in a crisis, the state does not raise taxes, does not make the already difficult situation of residents and businesses more difficult. In order to achieve a balance in the budget, it is necessary to review those parts of the expenditure side that have not received a mandate in elections and whose usefulness or necessity for the Estonian people is non-existent,” Helme said.
According to the EKRE leader, the investment in Rail Baltic must be canceled, as well as the transition of the energy system to renewable energy, which costs billions of euros and is a process that will end in us having permanently more expensive and poorer quality electricity supply. Also the income tax reform in its current planned form must be postponed or canceled.
“Without the repeal of the marriage perversion law, which is dividing society, it is not possible to expect a reduction in confrontation in society. Our compromise proposal is to put the question of recognition of gay relations by the state to a referendum so that the supreme power can make its final decision on this issue. State censorship and the control of opinion by criminalizing the freedom of expression through the so-called hate speech law must be permanently removed from the agenda because of its blatant unconstitutionality,” he said.
Helme also raised the subject of ending online voting in elections, noting that in a situation where nearly 40 percent of voters do not believe in or do not trust such an election method, it is difficult to talk about legitimate state power, the reduction of alienation between the people and power, the functioning of the basic principles of democracy, and actual observance of the election procedure set forth in the Constitution.
“It must be separately emphasized again that the filibuster in the Riigikogu cannot be viewed as the reason for the government’s road-roller-like policy of tying an unprecedented number of bills to confidence vote. The filibuster in the Riigikogu is itself the consequence of the policy of lying, of the ramming through by force of policies that do not have a mandate, of an essentially illegitimate government and its policies. The current liberal coalition chose the path of trampling Estonian democracy underfoot, the filibuster is the inevitable result of this path,” he said.
Helme added that there was no way he could join the proposal of Mihhail Kolvart, the leader of the Center Party, that the opposition would abandon its practice of exhausting the government through perfectly legal and democratic parliamentary techniques.
He said the current political situation in Estonia is in a deadlock to such a degree that it’s primarily a new election — that is, giving the opportunity of a political restart to the supreme power, the people — that can be seen as a way out.
“Extraordinary elections are not a subversion or disruption of democracy and the Constitution, but exactly the opposite — extraordinary elections are at once constitutional and a solution that strengthens and moves democracy forward,” the party leader said.
Helme described early elections as being a European solution “to the core.”
“The recent elections in the Netherlands were early elections; in Portugal, extraordinary elections will be held in March, just over a year after the previous elections, which were also extraordinary; the last general elections in both Italy and Spain were also extraordinary,” he said.
“In a situation where the two largest parties of the government have lost more than half of their support since the elections, whereas two opposition parties have significantly increased their support, we cannot speak of a representation that reflects the real political preferences of the people. The legitimacy of the Riigikogu is more in question than ever before. All political parties should be interested in solving this problem, and the democratic solution is to turn to the voters,” the leader of EKRE added.
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