Roivas: It's logical that Cohabitation Act will take effect in Estonia

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Photo: Liis Treimann / Postimees

Answering a question from a Center Party MP in parliament on Wednesday, prime minister designate Taavi Roivas said the enactment of the Cohabitation Act is a logical course of events.

The Center Party MP, Priit Toobal, observed that there's not a single word on the subject of the Cohabitation Act in the coalition accord and asked whether the implementing provisions will indeed be enacted during the tenure of the new government.

Recalling that adoption of the Cohabitation Act was not an initiative of the government but of parliament, Roivas said: «I hope that this debate which strongly split the Estonian society does not have to arise again.»

He said that when a law has been adopted it is logical that it will take effect too. «This is how things should be in a country of rule of law,» Roivas said.

The freshly elected chairman of the parliamentary group of Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), Priit Sibul, expressed hope that when the implementing provisions of the Cohabitation Act are voted on in the Riigikogu the IRL group will vote in a united manner.

«I hope that in the IRL group we are able to agree on things and act in a united manner in these matters,» Sibul said in his answer to a question from BNS, stressing that the topic of Cohabitation Act was not mentioned in the coalition accord.

«I, specifically, will vote against, I do not support these implementing provisions just like I didn't support the law itself,» he said.

The implementing provisions can be put before lawmakers just like the law itself, that is, tabled by a group of MPs, Sibul said.

«Our party went to the polls with the understanding that this law is not necessary and if the matter should be tabled now, we will discuss it,» he said.

The Riigikogu adopted the gender neutral Cohabitation Act with votes 40 to 38 at the beginning of October 2014, after heavy and bitter campaigning by both proponents and opponents of the law. For the law to take effect the new lineup of the Riigikogu must adopt its implementing provisions.

The head of the opposition Center Party group in the Riigikogu, Kadri Simson, said in her remarks to BNS on Tuesday that the vote over implementing provisions may cause a row in the fresh coalition.