1923 Estonian religious education referendum

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A referendum on restoring voluntary religious education to state schools was held in Estonia between 17 and 19 February 1923.[1] It was approved by 71.9% of voters with a turnout of 66.2%.[2]


On 5 January 1921 the Christian Democratic Party (KDP) joined Konstantin Päts' Farmers' Assemblies-led the government, and was given the Education ministry portfolio. The following year the KDP caused a split in the government by introducing a bill to provide religious education in state schools, funded by the state. Although the proposal was rejected by the Riigikogu, the party forced a referendum on the issue in early 1923.[3]


Choice Votes %
For 324,933 71.9
Against 127,119 28.1
Invalid/blank votes 2,116
Total 454,168 100
Registered voters/turnout 685,730 66.2
Source: Nohlen & Stöver


As the referendum was a rejection of government policy, this was considered to be a vote of no confidence on the rest of the government. The Riigikogu was subsequently dissolved and fresh elections called.[3]


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p574 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p579
  3. ^ a b Vincent E McHale (1983) Political parties of Europe, Greenwood Press, p374 ISBN 0-313-23804-9