Estonian Labour Party
The Estonian Labour Party (Estonian: Eesti Tööerakond, ETE) was a centre-left (later rather center-right) political party in Estonia. It emerged in 1917 with the merger of the Estonian Radical Socialist Party (Estonian: Eesti Radikaalsotsialistlik Partei) and Estonian radicals from Petrograd and remained an important coalition party until 1932, when it merged with other centrist parties to form the National Centre Party.
The party was founded on 6 May 1917 in Tallinn and its initial leaders were Jüri Vilms and Eduard Laaman. The Radical Socialist Party was founded as a clearly left-wing party, that supported social equality, democracy, but also liberal economic policies. Its voters came from the poorer classes and therefore it had a radical approach to the land reform and advocated the separation of church and state and a democratic constitution, which would give more power to the parliament.
In 1917, the Radical Socialist Party was elected to the Estonian Provincial Assembly, where it gained 4 of the 55 seats. In the I Congress of the party (30 September - 2 October 1917), Estonian radicals from Petrograd joined the party and it was renamed the Estonian Labour Party. In November 1917, the Labour Party gained already 21% of the votes in the Russian Constituent Assembly elections. In late December 1917, after the partially successful Bolshevik coup d'état in Estonia, members of the Labour Party were the first to publicly demand independence for Estonia. By the 1918 Constituent Assembly elections, their support had risen to 30.4%.
After Estonia declared independence on 24 February 1918, the Labour Party was part of the Estonian Provisional Government, as were all the parties, that supported Estonian independence. In March 1918, the leader of the party Jüri Vilms went missing in Finland, where he was presumably executed. The party's new leaders were Otto Strandman, Ants Piip, Juhan Kukk, Theodor Pool and Julius Seljamaa.
The Labour Party saw its greatest support in the 1919 and 1920 elections and was a member most government coalitions from 1918 to 1932. In the Constituent Assembly, the Labour Party was influential in composing the radical land reform and the 1920 constitution. It moved towards the centre-right, getting its support from officials, teachers and littlefarmers of the middle class. In 1925, the centre-left agrarian Association of Settlers split from the Labour Party, which moved the remaining Labour Party even more towards the centre-right, but it also lost some of its support. The Labour Party moved closer to the Estonian People's Party and the two centre-right parties merged in January 1932 to form the National Centre Party
The Estonian Labour Party was in the coalition in 1918-1920, 1920-1922, 1922-1924, 1924-1926, 1927-1931, in a total of 16 cabinets. It also led the coalition four times in 1919, 1920-1921, 1922-1923 and 1929-1931.
- Estonian People's Party, 3,379 days - 1918-1919, 1919-1920, 1921-1922, 1922-1923, 1923-1924, 1924-1925, 1927-1929, 1929-1931
- Farmers' Assemblies, 3,061 days - 1918-1919, 1921-1922, 1922-1923, 1924-1926, 1927-1928, 1929-1931
- Christian People's Party, 2,490 days - 1920, 1921-1922, 1923-1924, 1924-1926, 1928-1931
- Estonian Social Democratic Workers' Party, 1,442 days - 1918-1919, 1919-1920, 1922-1923, 1924-1925
- Association of Settlers, 1,383 days - 1925-1926, 1927-1931
- Estonian Socialist Workers' Party, 218 days - 1928-1929
- National Liberal Party, 193 days - 1926
- German Party in Estonia, 163 days - 1918-1919
- Russian Citizens' Assembly, 71 days - 1919
- Party of Estonian Socialists-Revolutionaries, 59 days - 1919
Heads of Government
|Portrait||Name||Term of Office||Cabinet||Legislature|
|Took Office||Left Office||Days|
|Otto August Strandman
1st Prime Minister
|9 May 1919||18 November 1919||194||Strandman I
5th Prime Minister
|26 October 1920||20 December 1920||92||Piip
1st State Elder
|20 December 1920||25 January 1921|
3rd State Elder
|21 November 1922||2 August 1923||255||Kukk
|Otto August Strandman
10th State Elder
|9 July 1929||12 February 1931||584||Strandman II