1919 Estonian Constituent Assembly election

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1919 Estonian Constituent Assembly election

← 1917 7 April 1919 1920 →

120 seats in the Constituent Assembly
61 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Jaan Tonisson1928.jpg
Leader August Rei Otto August Strandman Jaan Tõnisson
Party Social Democratic Workers' Labour Party People's Party
Last election 9 seats 4 seats 7 seats
Seats won 41 30 25
Seat change +32 (+16.2%) +26 (+17.3%) +18 (+7.6%)
Popular vote 152,341 114,879 94,892
Percentage 32.6% 24.6% 20.3%

Prime Minister of the Provisional Government before election

Konstantin Päts
Country People's Union

Elected Prime Minister

Otto August Strandman
Labour Party

The Estonian Constituent Assembly (Estonian: Asutav kogu) was elected on 5–7 April 1919,[1] called by the Estonian Provisional Government during the Estonian War of Independence. The Assembly was elected by party-list proportional representation in one nationwide district using the D'Hondt method.[2] Eligible voters included soldiers at the front. The elections were won by left-wing and centrist parties.[3]


Estonian Constituent Assembly, Opening Session on 23 April 1919.

The 120 members of the Constituent Assembly met at the opening session on 23 April 1919, the birthday of the Estonian Parliament[1] and elected the chairman, Social Democrat August Rei. On 7 May the Assembly passed the Public Elementary Schools Act: The principle of compulsory and free primary 6-year elementary school education was established.[4]

On 8 May 1919 the Estonian provisional government resigned, and the first fully democratically elected Government of Estonia headed by Prime Minister Otto Strandman (Estonian Labor Party) took office. On 15 May the assembly reaffirmed the Estonian Declaration of Independence, aimed at the international community for recognizing Estonia as an independent state.

On 4 June 1919 the Assembly adopted a temporary Constitution of Estonia, and on 10 October 1919 the Land Reform Act was passed, which confiscated and redistributed the Baltic German estates, ending the 700 years possession of the regions that the Germans had gained after the Livonian Crusade.[5]

On 13 February the Peace Treaty of Tartu was ratified, signed by Estonia and Russian SFSR on 2 February. The first Constitution of Estonia was adopted on 15 June 1920. After the constitution had entered into effect and the first parliamentary elections were held, the Constituent Assembly disbanded itself on 20 December 1920.[3]


Party Votes % Seats
Estonian Social Democratic Workers' Party 152,341 33.3 41
Estonian Labour Party 114,879 25.1 30
Estonian People's Party 94,892 20.7 25
Rural League 29,989 6.5 8
Socialists-Revolutionaries 26,536 5.8 7
Christian Democratic Party 20,157 4.4 5
German-Baltic Party 11,462 2.5 3
Russian National Union 5,765 1.3 1
Party of the Residents of Hiiumaa Island 1,090 0.2 0
All-Estonian Sailors' Union 795 0.2 0
Total 457,906 100 120
Registered voters/turnout 653,000 70.1
Source: McHale,[6] Nohlen & Stöver[2]


  1. ^ a b Chronology at riigikogu.ee
  2. ^ a b Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p581 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  3. ^ a b Historical Dictionary of Estonia; p. 140 ISBN 0-8108-4904-6
  4. ^ "Public Elementary Schools Act at Estonian Historical Archives". Archived from the original on 2008-01-20. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  5. ^ Meyendorff, Alexander Feliksovich (1922). "Esthonia" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 31 (12th ed.). London & New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Company. pp. 10–13.
  6. ^ Vincent E McHale (1983) Political parties of Europe, Greenwood Press, p397 ISBN 0-313-23804-9

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