|Leader of the Estonian Left Party|
25 March 1990 – 1 June 1995
|Preceded by||Party established|
|Succeeded by||Hillar Eller|
|First Secretary of the Communist Party of Estonia|
|Preceded by||Karl Vaino|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Born||28 March 1931|
Külaküla, Hiiumaa, Estonia
|Political party||Estonian Left Party|
Vaino Väljas (Russian: Ва́йно Ио́сипович Вя́льяс, romanized: Vaino Iosipovich Vyalias; born 28 March 1931 in Külaküla, Hiiumaa) is a former Soviet and Estonian politician. He was the Chairman of the 6th Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR from 18 April 1963 to 19 March 1967, first secretary of communist party of Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic from 16 June 1988 to April 1990 and chairman of the party from April 1990 to August 1991.
In 1949, he began working at the Komsomol. From 1955 to 1961 he held the office of First Secretary of the Central Committee of the ELKNÜ. From 1961 to 1971, Väljas was First Secretary of the Tallinn City Committee of the Communist Party of Estonia. From 1971 to 1980, he was Secretary of the Central Committee of the EKP. Since Väljas was considered to have Estonian nationalist inclinations, he was removed from Estonia and appointed as the Soviet ambassador to Venezuela in 1980 and Nicaragua in 1986.
Leader of Soviet Estonia
As the Estonian independence movement gained momentum in 1988, the relatively liberal Väljas was recalled from Nicaragua and was appointed by Gorbachev as leader of the Communist Party of Estonia. The Communist party lost its monopoly of power in February 1990. Väljas later voted for the Estonian Restoration of Independence in August 1991.
- Order of Lenin (1965)
- 3 Orders of the Red Banner of Labour (1958, 1971, and 1973)
- Order of Friendship of Peoples (1981)
- Order of the National Coat of Arms (2002)
- Order of the White Star (2006)
- Aadu Luukas Mission Award (2017)
- Tallinn Coat of Arms (2021)
- Order of the Liberator (Venezuela, 1986)