Social Democratic Party (Estonia)

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Social Democratic Party
Leader Sven Mikser
Founded 8 September 1990 (as ESDP)
Headquarters Ahtri 10a
V floor
Tallinn 10151
Youth wing Young Social Democrats
Membership  (2014) 6,196
Ideology Social democracy[1]
Third Way[1]
Political position Centre-left[citation needed]
International affiliation Socialist International
European affiliation Party of European Socialists
European Parliament group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Colours Red
Riigikogu
19 / 101
European Parliament
1 / 6
Website
http://www.sotsdem.ee
Politics of Estonia
Political parties
Elections

The Social Democratic Party (Estonian: Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond, SDE) is a social-democratic[1][2] political party in Estonia, currently led by Sven Mikser. The SDE has been a member of the Party of European Socialists since 16 May 2003 and a member of the Socialist International since November 1990.

The party was formerly known as the Moderate People's Party (Estonian: Rahvaerakond Mõõdukad).[3]

The party's youth wing is called Young Social Democrats.

History[edit]

1989–today[edit]

For the history of Estonian Social Democracy before the 1980s, see Estonian Social Democratic Workers' Party

During the perestroika era the Estonian Social Democratic Party (Eesti Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Partei, ESDP) was formed as Estonia's social-democratic movements merged in 1990. The movements were: the Estonian Democratic Labour Party, the Estonian Social Democratic Independence Party, the Russian Social Democratic Party of Estonia and the Estonian Socialist Party's Foreign Association (successor of Estonian Socialist Workers Party in exile).

"Moderate People's Party" (Rahvaerakond Mõõdukad) logo.

The ESDP's first leader was Marju Lauristin. They restored their contacts with the Socialist International in 1990. ESDP formed an electoral alliance with the agrarian Estonian Rural Centre Party (formed in 1990) for 1992 and 1995 elections. In 1996, after electoral defeat these two parties finally merged and named themselves the Moderates (Mõõdukad). The Moderates were accepted as a full member of the Socialist International at its 20th congress in September 1999.[4]

In 1999 the Moderates and the centre-right People's Party, set up in May 1998 after a fusion of Peasants' Party and People's Party of Republicans and Conservatives (a 1994 splinter group from the Fatherland Alliance), formed the Moderate People's Party (Rahvaerakond Mõõdukad). The seemingly unlikely decision to fuse took place on 29 May 1999, with some foreign commentators drawing parallels with 'right-wing socialists'.[5] In November the same year, the unification was formally approved by party's general assembly.

The Moderates' contacts with People's Party predecessors had started in 1998. The two parties had a joint list in 1999 parliamentary election and formed a governing coalition with Pro Patria Union and Reform Party. In 2003, the Moderate People's Party joined the Party of European Socialists. After disappointing election results in 2003, the party renamed itself the Social Democratic Party (SDE) on 7 February 2004.

It was the most successful party in the 2004 European Parliamentary Election, obtaining 36.8% of the national vote (most of which went to their leading candidate Toomas Hendrik Ilves) and returning 3 MEPs.

The SDE is committed to the social market economy model, in addition to conventional social-democratic values including equality, social justice, solidarity, and the welfare state. On 10 May 2005 former social-liberals Peeter Kreitzberg and Sven Mikser joined them. On 28 November former social-liberal Mark Soosaar re-joined the SDE. The party has been in opposition from 2002 on, but they participated talks for a common alternative presidential candidate to Arnold Rüütel, SDE's Toomas Hendrik Ilves was elected on 23 September 2006 as the next president of Estonia (apart from the Social Democrats, he was supported by the Reform Party of Estonia, Pro Patria Union and Res Publica deputies).

After last elections to the local government councils on 16 October 2005, the party in most major cities is in opposition, but are a part of the governing coalition in Rakvere and Tapa. The party improved its position in most areas. In Tallinn, it formed a joint list with the agrarian People's Union, which got 6 seats out of 63 seats with 11.1% share of votes. Comparing to 2003. elections to the local government council in Tallinn SDE and People's Union gained seats. In the 2003 election, SDE got a 4.9% share of votes and People's Union 3.4% share of votes, which were both below a 5% election threshold. In Estonia, SDE local lists won 6.43% share of votes. In 2003 they got only 4.39% share of votes nationally. SDE is today represented on 65 local councils out of 206 and is governing in 20 local councils. After the 2003 election the party was represented in 104 local councils out of 247.

SDE's aim in the 2007 Estonian parliamentary election was to win at least 17 seats out of 101. Independent member of current Riigikogu Liina Tõnisson ran as a candidate in their list. All SDE's MEPs and their current MPs were candidates in the 2007 election. The party got 58,354 votes (10.6% of the total), a gain of +3.6%; it won 10 seats in the new Riigikogu, a gain of four.

In April 2007, the Social Democrats joined the coalition government led by the Estonian Reform Party.

The small Russian Party in Estonia merged into the SDE in 2012.

Leaders of ESDP/SDE[edit]

Toomas Hendrik Ilves is the current President of Estonia

Riigikogu election results[edit]

  • 1992: 12 seats (as electoral cartel Moderates, i.e. joint list of Estonian Social Democratic Party and Rural Centre Party)
  • 1995: 6 seats (as electoral cartel Moderates, i.e. joint list of Estonian Social Democratic Party and Rural Centre Party)
  • 1999: 17 seats (as Moderates, which included People's Party candidates)
  • 2003: 6 seats (as Moderate People's Party)
  • 2007: 10 seats
  • 2011: 19 seats

The periods in Government[edit]

1992–1994, 1994–1995, 1999–2001, 2007–2009 They participated in three centre-right governments with today's Fatherland Union and Reform Party. Social democrats were in government in 1992–1994 Mart Laar's first government, in 1994–1995 Andres Tarand's government (often called to Christmas Peace government (jõulurahu valitsus)) and in 1999–2001 Mart Laar's second government (often called Triple Alliance (kolmikliit)) and from 2007 to 2009, when the Social Democrat ministers were expelled from the government.

Members of Estonian Government (Vabariigi Valitsus)[edit]

Members of Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu)[edit]

Sven Mikser

MP, electoral district [6]


Members of SDE, but not members of faction due to law

Members of the European Parliament[edit]

Since 2014 the SDE has 1 MEP

Other notable SDE members[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]