Interpellations, written questions and Question Time
Interpellations, written questions and Question Time of the members of the Riigikogu are means of excercising of the parliamentary authority.
Member of the Riigikogu can sumbit an interpellation to the Prime Minister, the ministers, the Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Estonia, the President of the Bank of Estonia, the Auditor General, the Legal Chancellor, the Commander or Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces pertaining to compliance with legislation regulating their powers.
An interpellation is request of information regarding national issues of general and broad public interest.
When a member of the Riigikogu submits an interpellation to the Government of the Republic, the Prime Minister or the minister shall appear before the Riigikogu and reply to an interpellation within twenty sitting days. After the questions are answered, the debate shall be opened. Dissatisfaction with the way an issue of the interpellation regarding the activity of the government or member thereof is resolved can even lead to the expression of no confidence.
A written question of the member of the Riigikogu is means of excercising of the parliamentary authority similar to an interpellation. The difference between an interpellation and a written question is that a written question is submitted to obtain information on an individual matter and has to enable a short reply. The reply to the submitted question is given within ten working days. There shall be no debate at the sitting of the Riigikogu pertaining to the written question. The reply to the question shall be made known to all the members of the Riigikogu.
Question time, during which the Prime Minister and ministers reply to the questions from the members of the Riigikogu is held on Wednesday of the plenary working week of the Riigikogu. Member of the Riigikogu shall submit a written request to the Board of the Riigikogu on the sitting day preceding Question Time. In a request, the member of the Riigikogu shall set out the member of the Government to whom the question is addressed and the problem to which the question pertains. The Board of the Riigikogu shall prepare the order of questions bearing in mind the urgency of the questions and that all the political parties represented in the Riigikogu should have the opportunity to pose questions.