Riigikogu

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State Assembly of Estonia

Riigikogu
Coat of arms or logo
Type
Type
History
Founded23 April 1919; 102 years ago (1919-04-23)
Leadership
President of the Riigikogu
Jüri Ratas, Centre
since 18 March 2021
First Vice-President of the Riigikogu
Hanno Pevkur, Reform
since 8 February 2021
Second Vice-President of the Riigikogu
Martin Helme, EKRE
since 18 March 2021
Structure
Seats101
Composition of the Parliament of Estonia.svg
Political groups
Government (59)
  •   Reform (34)
  •   Centre (25)

Opposition (42)

Elections
Party-list proportional representation
Modified D'Hondt method
Last election
3 March 2019
Next election
5 March 2023
Meeting place
Toompea Castle, Tallinn
Website
www.riigikogu.ee
Footnotes
  • ^
    Unaffiliated MP Raimond Kaljulaid votes with SDE.
  • Coordinates: 59°26′08″N 24°44′14″E / 59.4356°N 24.7372°E / 59.4356; 24.7372

    The Riigikogu (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈriːɡikoɡu]; from riigi-, of the state, and kogu, assembly) is the unicameral parliament of Estonia. All important state-related questions pass through the Riigikogu. In addition to approving legislation, the Riigikogu appoints high officials, including the Prime Minister and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and elects (either alone or, if necessary, together with representatives of local government within a broader electoral college) the President. The Riigikogu also ratifies significant foreign treaties that impose military and proprietary obligations, bring about changes in the law, etc.; approves the budget presented by the government as law and monitors the executive power.

    History[edit]

    History[edit]

    April 23, 1919, the opening session of the Estonian Constituent Assembly is the birthday of the Estonian Parliament.[1] Established under the 1920 constitution, the Riigikogu had 100 members elected for a three year term on the basis of proportional representation. Elections were fixed for the first Sunday in May of the third year of parliament.[2] The first elections to the Riigikogu took place in 1920. From 1923 to 1932, there were four more elections to the Riigikogu. The elections were on a regional basis, without any threshold in the first two elections, but from 1926 a moderate threshold (2%) was used. The sessions of the Riigikogu take place in the Toompea Castle, where a new building in an unusual Expressionist style was erected in the former courtyard of the medieval castle in 1920–1922.

    In 1933 amendments to the first Constitution was approved by referendum, where more power was given to an executive President. The following year the President used these new powers to adjourn parliament and declared martial law to avert an alleged coup.[3] In 1937 a second constitution was approved by referendum which saw the introduction of a two chambered legislature, the Chamber of Deputies (Riigivolikogu) and the National Council (Riiginõukogu). Elections were subsequently held in 1938 with only one party and non-affiliated individual candidates were allowed to run.

    During the subsequent periods of Soviet occupation (1940–41), German occupation (1941–44), and the second Soviet occupation (1944–1991) the Riigikogu was disbanded. The castle and the building of the Riigikogu were used by the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR during the second Soviet occupation.

    Restitution of independence[edit]

    In September 1992, a year after Estonia had regained its independence from the Soviet Union, elections to the Riigikogu took place on the basis of the third Constitution of Estonia adopted in the summer of the same year. The 1992 constitution, which incorporates elements of the 1920 and 1938 Constitutions and explicitly asserts its continuity with the Estonian state as it existed between 1920 and 1940, sees the return of a unicameral Riigikogu with 101 members. The present Riigikogu was elected on March 3, 2019. The main differences between this system and a pure political representation, or proportional representation, system are the established 5% national threshold, and the use of a modified D'Hondt formula (the divisor is raised to the power 0.9). This modification makes for more disproportionality than does the usual form of the formula.

    Latest election[edit]

    Riigikogu 2019 election.svg
    PartyVotes%Seats+/–
    Estonian Reform Party162,36428.9434+4
    Estonian Centre Party129,61723.1026−1
    Conservative People's Party of Estonia99,67217.7619+12
    Isamaa64,21911.4412−2
    Social Democratic Party55,1689.8310−5
    Estonia 20024,4474.360New
    Estonian Greens10,2261.8200
    Estonian Biodiversity Party6,8581.220New
    Estonian Free Party6,4601.150−8
    Estonian United Left Party5100.0900
    Independents1,5900.2800
    Total561,131100.001010
    Valid votes561,13199.31
    Invalid/blank votes3,8970.69
    Total votes565,028100.00
    Registered voters/turnout887,42063.67
    Source: Valimised

    Current seat allocation[edit]

    Riigikogu
    Parliament building in Toompea Castle: the seat of the Parliament.
    Current seating plan
      EKRE: 19 seats
      Isamaa: 12 seats
      Reform: 34 seats
      Centre: 25 seats
      SDE: 10 seats
      Independent: 1 seat
      Empty seats

    Structure of former legislatures[edit]

    Estonian Parliament 1992–1995[edit]

    29 17 15 12 10 8 8 1 1
    Isamaa Safe Home Popular Front Moderates Independence ERP Citizen Greens EEE

    Estonian Parliament 1995–1999[edit]

    41 19 16 8 6 6 5
    Coalition/Country Reform Centre RKEI and ERSP Moderates Home Right

    Estonian Parliament 1999–2003[edit]

    28 18 18 17 7 7 6
    Centre Res Publica Reform Moderates Coalition Country United

    Estonian Parliament 2003–2007[edit]

    28 28 19 13 7 6
    Kesk Res Publica Reform People's Union Pro Patria Moderates

    Estonian Parliament 2007–2011[edit]

    31 29 19 10 6 6
    Reform Centre IRL SDE Greens People's Union

    Estonian Parliament 2011–2015[edit]

    33 26 23 19
    Reform Centre IRL SDE

    Estonian Parliament 2015–2019[edit]

    30 27 15 14 8 7
    Reform Centre SDE IRL EVA EKRE

    Estonian Parliament 2019–present[edit]

    34 26 19 12 10
    Reform Centre EKRE Isamaa SDE

    Speakers of the Riigikogu[edit]

    The salary of the speaker is €5,288 per month.[4]

    1921-1937[edit]

    Name Period Legislature
    Otto Strandman January 4, 1921 – November 18, 1921 I Riigikogu[5]
    Juhan Kukk November 18, 1921 – November 20, 1922 I Riigikogu[5]
    Konstantin Päts November 20, 1922 – June 7, 1923 I Riigikogu[5]
    Jaan Tõnisson June 7, 1923 – May 27, 1925 II Riigikogu[5]
    August Rei June 9, 1925 – June 22, 1926 II Riigikogu[5]
    Karl Einbund June 22, 1926 – July 19, 1932 III Riigikogu, IV Riigikogu, V Riigikogu[5]
    Jaan Tõnisson July 19, 1932 – May 18, 1933 V Riigikogu[5]
    Karl Einbund May 18, 1933 – August 29, 1934 V Riigikogu[5]
    Rudolf Penno September 28, 1934 – December 31, 1937 V Riigikogu[5]

    Speakers of the Riigivolikogu (lower chamber)[edit]

    Name Period Legislature
    Jüri Uluots April 21, 1938 – October 12, 1939 VI Riigikogu[5]
    Otto Pukk October 17, 1939 – July 5, 1940 VI Riigikogu[5]
    Arnold Veimer July 21, 1940 – August 25, 1940

    Speaker of the Riiginõukogu (upper chamber)[edit]

    Name Period Legislature
    Mihkel Pung April 21, 1938 – July 5, 1940 VI Riigikogu[5]

    Chairman of the Supreme Council (1990–1992)[edit]

    Name Period
    Arnold Rüütel March 29, 1990 – October 5, 1992

    Speaker of the Supreme Council (1990–1992)[edit]

    Name Period
    Ülo Nugis March 29, 1990 – October 5, 1992

    Since 1992[edit]

    Name Period Legislature
    Ülo Nugis October 21, 1992 – March 21, 1995 VII Riigikogu[5]
    Toomas Savi March 21, 1995 – March 31, 2003 VIII Riigikogu, IX Riigikogu[5]
    Ene Ergma March 31, 2003 – March 23, 2006 X Riigikogu[5]
    Toomas Varek March 23, 2006 – April 2, 2007 X Riigikogu[5]
    Ene Ergma April 2, 2007 – March 20, 2014 XI Riigikogu, XII Riigikogu[5]
    Eiki Nestor March 20, 2014 – April 4, 2019 XII Riigikogu, XIII Riigikogu[5]
    Henn Põlluaas April 4, 2019 - March 18, 2021 XIV Riigikogu[5]
    Jüri Ratas March 18, 2021 XIV Riigikogu[5]

    Chancellery[edit]

    The Chancellery of the Riigikogu (Estonian: Riigikogu Kantselei) is the administration supporting the Riigikogu in the performance of its constitutional functions.[6]

    See also[edit]

    References[edit]

    Citations[edit]

    1. ^ "Riigikogu". Riigikogu.
    2. ^ Miljan 2004, p. 413.
    3. ^ Miljan 2004, p. 414.
    4. ^ "Riigikogu liikmete ja teiste kõrgemate riigiteenijate palk ei muutu". Postimees. 15 March 2017.
    5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Riigikogu juhatus". Riigikogu.
    6. ^ "Chancellery of the Riigikogu". Riigikogu (in Estonian). Retrieved 21 March 2020.

    Bibliography[edit]

    • Miljan, Toivo (2004). Historical Dictionary of Estonia. Maryland, USA: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4904-6.

    External links[edit]