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Li Andersson, the chairperson of the Left Alliance, has cautioned against rushing to implement the constitutional amendments necessitated by the new intelligence legislation of Finland. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)
Li Andersson, the chairperson of the Left Alliance, has cautioned against rushing to implement the constitutional amendments necessitated by the new intelligence legislation of Finland. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

 

Li Andersson, the chairperson of the Left Alliance, has voiced her puzzlement with the readiness of other parliamentary groups to amend the constitution urgently.

The Finnish Parliament is tomorrow expected to determine whether a proposal to amend constitutional provisions on the protection of personal data and secrecy of correspondence should be declared urgent. The amendments must be declared urgent if the government is to succeed in introducing its new, long-discussed intelligence laws by the end of its term in office.

A legislative proposal is declared urgent if gains the support of at least five-sixths of Members of the Parliament.

“Security is a powerful argument in politics and public debate,” Andersson acknowledges in her blog. “It is nevertheless frightening how the fact that there is a desire to amend the constitution under the urgency procedure has been subjected to so little scrutiny.”

Most Members of the Parliament are reportedly supportive of the idea of invoking the urgency procedure. Even the Green League announced last week it will encourage its members to vote in favour of the procedure in order to ensure the intelligence laws can be implemented before the end of the current electoral term.

Verkkouutiset has estimated that the support of the opposition party should be enough to secure a five-sixth majority.

The Finns Party has yet to announce its position on the issue. The Left Alliance, meanwhile, is opposed to the urgency procedure but not to the amendments themselves, clarifies Andersson.

“The constitution is not being amended to enable the armed forces to monitor the actions of foreign powers in Finnish data networks. The constitution is being amended to limit the protection of private correspondence for Finns,” she views.

Andersson argues that the proposal to amend the constitution is, in principle, the most significant issue of the entire electoral term.

“The Parliament will comment on three separate issues during the course of this autumn,” she says. “The first will be the government proposal to amend the constitution. The second will be amending the constitution under the urgency procedure. The third will be the intelligence legislation and its contents.”

“Although it is tempting to bundle these issues into one, each of them is a separate decision warranting its own consideration,” stresses Andersson.

The amendments, she reminds, would apply also to similar legislative undertakings in the future.

“The urgency procedure must not be invoked unless it is absolutely necessary. The question therefore is: are we in faced with such a situation? No, we are not.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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