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Elections in Estonia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Estonia elects a legislature on the national level. The Riigikogu has 101 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation with a 5% electoral threshold. A head of state – the president – is elected for a five-year term by parliament (1st–3rd round) or an electoral college (4th and subsequent rounds). Locally, Estonia elects local government councils, which vary in size. Election law states the minimum size of a council depending on the size of municipality. Local government councils are elected by proportional representation too.

  • The minimum number of council members is prescribed to be at least 7 seats
  • Over 2,000 inhabitants: at least 13 seats
  • Over 5,000 inhabitants: at least 17 seats
  • Over 10,000 inhabitants: at least 21 seats
  • Over 50,000 inhabitants: at least 31 seats
  • Over 300,000 inhabitants: at least 79 seats

Estonia has a multi-party system with numerous parties. Often no one party has the chance to gain power alone and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.

Public elections have taken place in the following years: Past elections:



Residents without Estonian citizenship may not elect the Riigikogu (the national parliament). Residents without citizenship of any European Union member state may not elect the European Parliament. All permanent residents, regardless of citizenship, are eligible to vote in the local (municipal) elections in Estonia.[1]

Electronic voting is based on the Estonian ID card. Every voter has the right to verify and change their vote electronically. If the voter has also voted with a ballot paper, then only the ballot paper will be taken into account.[2][3][4][5]

Latest parliamentary election

Estonian Reform Party190,63231.24+2.3137+3
Conservative People's Party of Estonia97,96616.05−1.7117−2
Estonian Centre Party93,25415.28−7.8216−10
Estonia 20081,32913.33+8.9714+14
Social Democratic Party56,5849.27−0.569−1
Estonian United Left Party14,6052.39+2.3000
Estonian Greens5,8860.96−0.8600
Valid votes610,29999.43
Invalid/blank votes3,5020.57
Total votes613,801100.00
Registered voters/turnout966,12963.53
Source: National Electoral Committee[6]

Municipal elections


European elections




The Constitution of Estonia gives the Parliament of Estonia the power to submit a bill or other national issue to a referendum (article 105 of the Constitution[7]). The result of the vote is binding. If a bill which is submitted to a referendum does not receive a majority of votes in favour, the President of the Republic shall declare extraordinary elections to the Parliament.

There are some issues which cannot be submitted to the referendum: issues regarding the budget, taxation, financial obligations of the state, ratification and denunciation of international treaties, the declaration or termination of a state of emergency, or national defence (article 105 of the Constitution[7]).

Some parts of the Constitution (chapters "General Provisions" and "Amendment of the Constitution") can be amended only by a referendum (article 162 of the Constitution[7]). The rest of Constitution can be amended either by

  • a referendum;
  • two successive memberships of the Parliament;
  • the Parliament, as a matter of urgency (article 163 of the Constitution[7]).

A three-fifths majority of the membership of the Parliament is required to submit a bill to amend the Constitution to a referendum (article 164 of the Constitution[7]).

A referendum was called by the Parliament of Estonia on 2 occasions since Estonia regained independence from the USSR.

Also, there was a referendum on the restoration of Estonian independence in 1991 while Estonia was still under Soviet occupation.

See also



  1. ^ Puddington, Arch; Piano, Aili; Eiss, Camille; Roylance, Tyler (2007). "Estonia". Freedom in the World: The Annual Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 248. ISBN 978-0-7425-5897-7. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  2. ^ "Municipal Council Election Act". www.riigiteataja.ee. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  3. ^ "Riigikogu Election Act". www.riigiteataja.ee. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  4. ^ "European Parliament Election Act". www.riigiteataja.ee. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  5. ^ "Referendum Act". www.riigiteataja.ee. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  6. ^ "Eesti Vabariik kokku". Valimised. Archived from the original on 5 March 2023. Retrieved 5 March 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Constitution of Estonia". Retrieved 2013-11-01.