Social Democratic Party (Estonia)
The Social Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in Estonia led by Jevgeni Ossinovski. The party was known as the Moderate People's Party; the SDE has been a member of the Party of European Socialists since 16 May 2003 and a member of the Socialist International since November 1990. In spite of its nominal ideology, it has governed with the right-wing parties. For the history of Estonian Social Democracy before the 1980s, see Estonian Social Democratic Workers' Party During the perestroika era the Estonian Social Democratic Party was formed as Estonia's social-democratic movements merged in 1990; the movements were: the Estonian Democratic Labour Party, the Estonian Social Democratic Independence Party, the Russian Social Democratic Party of Estonia and the Estonian Socialist Party's Foreign Association. The ESDP's first leader was Marju Lauristin, they restored their contacts with the Socialist International in 1990. ESDP formed an electoral alliance with the agrarian Estonian Rural Centre Party for 1992 and 1995 elections.
In 1996, after electoral defeat these two parties merged and named themselves the Moderates. The Moderates were accepted as a full member of the Socialist International at its 20th congress in September 1999. In 1999 the Moderates and the centre-right People's Party, set up in May 1998 after a fusion of Peasants' Party and People's Party of Republicans and Conservatives, formed the Moderate People's Party; the unlikely decision to fuse took place on 29 May 1999, with some foreign commentators drawing parallels with'right-wing socialists'. In November the same year, the unification was formally approved by party's general assembly; the Moderates' contacts with People's Party predecessors had started in 1998. The two parties had a joint list in 1999 parliamentary election and formed a governing coalition with Pro Patria Union and Reform Party. In 2003, the Moderate People's Party joined the Party of European Socialists. After disappointing election results in 2003, the party renamed itself the Social Democratic Party on 7 February 2004.
It was the most successful party in the 2004 European Parliamentary Election, obtaining 36.8% of the national vote and returning 3 MEPs. The SDE is committed to the social market economy model, in addition to conventional social-democratic values including equality, social justice and the welfare state. On 10 May 2005 Sven Mikser joined them. On 28 November former social-liberal Mark Soosaar re-joined the SDE; the party was in opposition from 2002 on, but they participated talks for a common alternative presidential candidate to Arnold Rüütel, SDE's Toomas Hendrik Ilves was elected on 23 September 2006 as the next president of Estonia. After last elections to the local government councils on 16 October 2005, the party in most major cities is in opposition, but are a part of the governing coalition in Rakvere and Tapa; the party improved its position in most areas. In Tallinn, it formed a joint list with the agrarian People's Union, which got 6 seats out of 63 seats with 11.1% share of votes. Comparing to 2003.
Elections to the local government council in Tallinn SDE and People's Union gained seats. In the 2003 election, SDE got a 4.9% share of votes and People's Union 3.4% share of votes, which were both below a 5% election threshold. In Estonia, SDE local lists won 6.43% share of votes. In 2003 they got only 4.39% share of votes nationally. SDE is governing in 20 local councils. After the 2003 election the party was represented in 104 local councils out of 247. SDE's aim in the 2007 Estonian parliamentary election was to win at least 17 seats out of 101. Independent member of current Riigikogu Liina Tõnisson ran as a candidate in their list. All SDE's MEPs and their current MPs were candidates in the 2007 election; the party got 58,354 votes, a gain of +3.6%. In April 2007, the Social Democrats joined the coalition government led by the Estonian Reform Party. In the 2011 parliamentary election on 6 March 2011, the SDE received 17.1 % of 19 seats. The small Russian Party in Estonia merged into the SDE in 2012.
Following the resignation of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, a new cabinet was sworn in on 26 March 2014, with Taavi Rõivas of the Reform Party serving as Prime Minister in coalition with the SDE. In the 2014 European elections held on 25 May 2014, the SDE won 13.6% of the national vote, electing a single Member of the European Parliament. In the 2015 parliamentary election on 1 March 2015, the SDE received 15.2% of the vote and 15 seats in the Riigikogu. After the coalition formation with Reform and IRL, MP Jevgeni Ossinovski announced that he would challenge Sven Mikser in the party congress on 30 May 2015. Mikser however stepped down before the election at the congress and Ossinovski was chosen as the new party leader. On 7 November 2016, the Social Democratic Party and IRL announced that they were asking Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas to resign and were planning on negotiating a new majority government. In the following vote of confidence on 9 November, the majority of Riigikogu voted in favor of removing the prime minister’s government.
On 23 November 2016, a new coalition government consisting of
Estonia the Republic of Estonia, is a country in North East Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden on the other side, to the south by Latvia, to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia; the territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,227 km2, water 2,839 km2, land area 42,388 km2, is influenced by a humid continental climate. The official language of the country, Estonian, is the third most spoken Finno-Ugric language; the territory of Estonia has been inhabited since at least 9,000 B. C. Ancient Estonians were some of the last European pagans to be Christianized, following the Livonian Crusade in the 13th century. After centuries of successive rule by Germans, Swedes and Russians, a distinct Estonian national identity began to emerge in the 19th and early 20th centuries; this culminated in independence from Russia in 1920 after a brief War of Independence at the end of World War I.
Democratic, after the Great Depression Estonia was governed by authoritarian rule since 1934 during the Era of Silence. During World War II, Estonia was contested and occupied by the Soviet Union and Germany being incorporated into the former as the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. After the loss of its de facto independence, Estonia's de jure state continuity was preserved by diplomatic representatives and the government-in-exile. In 1987 the peaceful Singing Revolution began against Soviet rule, resulting in the restoration of de facto independence on 20 August 1991; the sovereign state of Estonia is a democratic unitary parliamentary republic divided into fifteen counties. Its capital and largest city is Tallinn. With a population of 1.3 million, it is one of the least-populous member states of the European Union since joining in 2004, the economic monetary Eurozone, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Schengen Area, of the Western military alliance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
It is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy, among the fastest-growing in the EU. Estonia ranks high in the Human Development Index, performs favourably in measurements of economic freedom, civil liberties and press freedom. Estonian citizens are provided with universal health care, free education, the longest-paid maternity leave in the OECD. One of the world's most digitally advanced societies, in 2005 Estonia became the first state to hold elections over the Internet, in 2014 the first state to provide e-residency. In the Estonian language the oldest known endonym of the Estonians was maarahvas, meaning "country people" or "people of the soil"; the land inhabited by Estonians was called Maavald meaning "Country Realm" or "Land Realm". One hypothesis regarding the modern name of Estonia derives it from the Aesti, a people described by the Roman historian Tacitus in his Germania; the historic Aesti were Baltic people, whereas the modern Estonians are Finno-Ugric. The geographical areas of the Aesti and of Estonia do not match, with the Aesti living farther south.
Ancient Scandinavian sagas refer to an area called Eistland, as the country is still called in Icelandic, with close parallels to the Danish, Dutch and Norwegian terms Estland for the country. Early Latin and other ancient versions of the name include Hestia. Esthonia was a common alternative English spelling before 1921. Human settlement in Estonia became possible 13,000 to 11,000 years ago, when the ice from the last glacial era melted; the oldest known settlement in Estonia is the Pulli settlement, on the banks of the river Pärnu, near the town of Sindi, in south-western Estonia. According to radiocarbon dating it was settled around 11,000 years ago; the earliest human inhabitation during the Mesolithic period is connected to the Kunda culture, named after the town of Kunda in northern Estonia. At that time the country was covered with forests, people lived in semi-nomadic communities near bodies of water. Subsistence activities consisted of hunting and fishing. Around 4900 BC appear ceramics of the neolithic period, known as Narva culture.
Starting from around 3200 BC the Corded Ware culture appeared. The Bronze Age started around 1800 BC, saw the establishment of the first hill fort settlements. A transition from hunting-fishing-gathering subsistence to single-farm-based settlement started around 1000 BC, was complete by the beginning of the Iron Age around 500 BC; the large amount of bronze objects indicate the existence of active communication with Scandinavian and Germanic tribes. A more troubled and war-ridden middle Iron Age followed, with external threats appearing from different directions. Several Scandinavian sagas referred to major confrontations with Estonians, notably when Estonians defeated and killed the Swedish king Ingvar. Similar threats appeared in the east. In 1030 Yaroslav the Wise established a fort in modern-day Tartu. Around the 11th century, the Scandinavian Viking era around the Baltic Sea was succeeded by the Baltic Viking era, with seaborne
Estonian Declaration of Independence
The Estonian Declaration of Independence known as the Manifesto to the Peoples of Estonia, is the founding act of the Republic of Estonia from 1918. It is celebrated on the National Day or Estonian Independence Day; the declaration was drafted by the Salvation Committee elected by the elders of the Estonian Provincial Assembly. Intended to be proclaimed on 21 February 1918, the proclamation was delayed until the evening of 23 February, when the manifesto was printed and read out aloud publicly in Pärnu. On the next day, 24 February, the manifesto was distributed in the capital, Tallinn. During World War I, between retreating Russian and advancing German troops, the Occupation of Estonia by German Empire nearing, the Salvation Committee of the Estonian National Council, Maapäev, declared the independence of Estonia on 24 February 1918; the German Empire did not recognise the newly declared Republic of Estonia. However, after the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I in November 1918, Germany withdrew its troops from Estonia and formally handed over power in Estonia to the Estonian Provisional Government on 19 November.
The Russian Bolshevik invasion and The Estonian War of Independence followed. On 2 February 1920, the Peace Treaty of Tartu was signed by the Republic of Estonia and Bolshevist Russia; the Republic of Estonia obtained international recognition and became a member of the League of Nations in 1921. MANIFESTO TO THE PEOPLES OF ESTONIAIn the course of centuries never have the Estonian people lost their desire for independence. From generation to generation have they kept alive the hidden hope that in spite of enslavement and oppression by hostile invaders the time will come to Estonia "when all splints, at both end, will burst forth into flames" and when "Kalev will come home to bring his children happiness." Now that time has arrived. An unprecedented fight between nations has crushed the rotten foundations of the Russian Tsarist Empire. All over the Sarmatian plains ruinous anarchy is spreading, threatening to overwhelm in its wake all the nations living in the former Russian Empire. From the West the victorious armies of Germany are approaching in order to claim their share of Russia's legacy and, above all, to take possession of the coastal territories of the Baltic Sea.
In this hour, the Estonian National Council, as the legal representative of our land and people, has, in unanimous agreement with Estonian democratic political parties and organizations, by virtue of the right of self-determination of peoples, found it necessary to take the following decisive steps to shape the destiny of the Estonian land and people. ESTONIA,within his historical and ethnic boundaries, is declared as of today anINDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC; the independent Republic of Estonia shall include Harjumaa, Läänemaa, Järvamaa, with the city of Narva and its surroundings, Tartumaa, Võrumaa, Pärnumaa with the Baltic islands of Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and others where the Estonians have settled for ages in large majorities. Final determination of the boundaries of the Republic in the areas bordering on Latvia and Russia will be carried out by plebiscite after the conclusion of the present World War. In the aforementioned areas the only supreme and organizing authority is the democratically supported Estonian Salvation Committee created by the Estonian National Council.
The Republic of Estonia wishes to maintain absolute political neutrality towards all neighbouring states and peoples and expects that they will respond with complete neutrality. Estonian military troops shall be reduced to the extent necessary to maintain internal order. Estonian soldiers serving in the Russian military forces will be demobilized; until the Estonian Constituent Assembly, elected by general, direct and proportional elections, will convene and determine the constitutional structure of the country, all executive and legislative authority will remain vested in the Estonian National Council and in the Estonian Provisional Government created by it, whose activities must be guided by the following principles: 1. All citizens of the Republic of Estonia, irrespective of their religion, ethnic origin, political views, are going to enjoy equal protection under the law and courts of justice of the Republic. 2. All ethnic minorities, the Russians, Swedes and others residing within the borders of the republic, are going to be guaranteed the right to their cultural autonomy.
3. All civic freedoms, the freedom of expression, of the press, of religion, of assembly, of association, the freedom to strike as well as the inviolability of the individual and the home, shall be irrefutably effective within the territory of the Estonian Republic and based on laws, which the Government must work out. 4. The Provisional Government is given the task of organizing courts of justice to protect the security of the citizens. All political prisoners shall be released immediately. 5. The city and township local governments are called upon to continue their work, violently interrupted. 6. For maintenance of public order, people's militia, subordinated to local governments, shall be organized and citizens' self-defence organizations established in the cities and rural areas. 7. The Provisional Government is instructed to work out, without delay, on a broad democratic basis, bills for the solution of the agrarian problem, the problems of labor, of food supply, of finances. ESTONIA! You stand on the threshold of a hopeful future in which you shall be free and independent in determining and directing your destiny!
Begin building a home of your own, ruled by law and order, in order to be a worthy memb
2015 Estonian parliamentary election
Parliamentary elections were held in Estonia on 1 March 2015. Advance voting was held between 25 February with a turnout of 33 percent; the results were a victory for the ruling Reform Party. This was the first election since the resignation of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, who relinquished his position after holding the office for nine years. Following the resignation, a new coalition comprising the Estonian Reform Party and the Estonian Social Democrats were authorized to form a new government on 24 March 2014 with 34-year-old Taavi Rõivas as the new Prime Minister; this replaced the prior coalition of the Estonian Reform Party and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union. The 101 members of the Riigikogu were elected by proportional representation in twelve multi-member constituencies; the seats were allocated using a modified D'Hondt method. Parties had to pass a nationwide threshold of 5%, but if the number of votes cast for an individual candidate exceeded or equalled the simple quota, they were elected.
Poll results are listed in the table below in reverse chronological order, showing the most recent first. The highest percentage figure in each poll is displayed in bold, the background shaded in the leading party's color. In the instance that there is a tie no figure is shaded; the Reform Party started coalition talks with the Social Democrats, Pro Patria and Res Publica Union and the Free Party. After nearly three weeks of negotiations, the Free Party left the coalition talks due to disagreements with the Reform Party and the IRL; the three remaining parties signed the coalition treaty on 8 April, the cabinet took office on 9 April. List of members of the Parliament of Estonia Estonian National Electoral Committee Poll ratings of political parties Eesti Erakondade Ajalugu
2019 Estonian parliamentary election
Parliamentary elections were held in Estonia on 3 March 2019. The Reform Party remained the largest party, gaining 4 seats for a total of 34 and the Conservative People's Party had the largest gain overall, increasing their seat count by 12 to a total of 19 seats; the 101 members of the Riigikogu are elected by proportional representation in twelve multi-member constituencies. Seats are allocated using a modified D'Hondt method. Parties have to pass a nationwide threshold of 5% to win seats. If the number of votes cast for an individual candidate exceeds or equals the simple quota in their constituency, they are deemed elected; the remaining seats are allocated based on each party's share of the vote and the number of votes received by individual candidates. Any seats not allocated at the constituency level are filled using a closed list presented by each party at the national level. Having won the most seats, the Reform Party took the lead in forming a new government. Kallas stated that she would be seeking a three-party coalition with Pro Patria and the Social Democratic Party, or a two-party coalition with the Centre Party.
On 6 March, the Reform Party announced. Two days the Centre Party declined the offer, citing differences of opinion on tax matters and claiming that the Reform Party's demands were too ultimatum-like. After the Centre Party's rejection, the Reform Party invited the Social Democrats and Pro Patria to negotiations; the Reform party had said that the poor relationship between two in the previous government would be unhelpful for a future coalition. On 11 March, the Centre Party announced that it would begin parallel coalition talks with Pro Patria and the Conservative People's Party, while criticizing the Reform Party of "extreme uncertainty" in formation of a coalition. Pro Patria accepted the Centre Party's proposal. At the same time the Conservative People's Party decided to begin coalition talks with Centre and Pro Patria. After having turned down an offer by the Reform party for coalition talks, the head of the Centre Party, Jüri Ratas, entered into talks with Pro Patria and the Conservative People's Party, the latter being considered a far-right party.
Ratas had ruled out forming a coalition with EKRE during the election campaign because of its hostile views.. "When I said before that it would be impossible for me to cooperate with a political party which cuts heads off, doesn't agree to certain nationalities or races EKRE has indeed said those things." The subsequent reversal of his stance and the inclusion of EKRE by Ratas in coalition talks after the elections was met with local and international criticism. In a poll conducted after the start of the coalition talks, the party of Jüri Ratas further lost support. Critics of the decision to include the Conservative People's Party in a coalition government claimed that Ratas is willing to sacrifice the Centre Party's values, the confidence of Centre Party voters and the stability of the country to keep his position as prime minister. Ratas has countered that his first duty is to look for ways to get his party included in the government in order to be able to work for the benefit of his voters, that the coalition would continue to support the EU and NATO, would be sending out messages of tolerance.
Some key members and popular candidates of Ratas' Centre Party have been critical of the decision, with Raimond Kaljulaid leaving the party's governing board in protest. Yana Toom, a member of the party and a party representative in the European Parliament, expressed criticism of the decision. Mihhail Kõlvart, popular among Russian-speaking voters, said the Centre Party cannot govern with the Conservative People's policy on languages in Estonia; the decision to include the Conservative People's Party was criticised in a letter written by Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, suggesting that Ratas should break off coalition talks with the national-conservative EKRE. Ratas criticised Verhofstadt's letter in the Estonian media. Brussels should not dictate to Estonia. On 6 April, coalition negotiations ended between the Centre Party, EKRE, Pro Patria, after the parties agreed on a coalition plan; the parties agreed that Jüri Ratas would retain the role of prime minister and that there would be four name and role changes to ministerial portfolios.
The parties agreed that the new cabinet will contain fifteen ministries, with each party receiving a total of five ministries. After the announcement, the leader of Reform, Kaja Kallas, tasked first by President Kersti Kaljulaid to form a coalition, said that she intends to hold a vote in the Riigikogu on 15 April on a coalition deal that she is trying to form. Kallas stated that she was considering two options, either inviting another party to join the coalition or forming a minority government with the Social Democrats. There was another possible option, where Reform would form a coalition with the Social Democrats and receive backing from some Centre and Pro Patria MPs who expressed their opposition about forming a government with EKRE, but "Kallas has not said that such a set-up was on the cards." Estonian National Electoral Committee
Ken-Marti Vaher is a leading member of the Estonian Pro Patria and Res Publica Union party. He has served twice as a Minister: as Minister of the Interior. Vaher, born in Tallinn on 5 September 1974, was educated at the University of Tartu, where he received a bachelor's degree in law. A career politician and civil servant Vaher served as Director of the State Audit Office as well as a member of the Tallinn City Council, before being appointed to the Minister of Justice position in the Juhan Parts government. On 21 March 2005, Vaher received a vote of no confidence from the Riigikogu; the vote followed concerns about the handling of a controversial anti-corruption plan. The plan, as it was proposed, would have established a quota system of how many civil servants had to be prosecuted every year, it was set on a per county basis. Members of the opposition in the Riigikogu considered the programme as draconian. On 24 March 2005, Prime Minister Juhan Parts announced that he would step down from the position of Prime Minister and requested that the President reform the government, in part having to do with Parts' support for the program.
In 2015 parliamentary election, Vaher was re-chosen to the parliament with 2,313 individual votes. Official Riigikogu profile
A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments. Laws enacted by legislatures are known as primary legislation. Legislatures observe and steer governing actions and have exclusive authority to amend the budget or budgets involved in the process; the members of a legislature are called legislators. In a democracy, legislators are most popularly elected, although indirect election and appointment by the executive are used for bicameral legislatures featuring an upper chamber. Names for national legislatures include "parliament", "congress", "diet", "assembly", depending on country; each chamber of the legislature consists of a number of legislators who use some form of parliamentary procedure to debate political issues and vote on proposed legislation. There must be a certain number of legislators present to carry out these activities; some of the responsibilities of a legislature, such as giving first consideration to newly proposed legislation, are delegated to committees made up of a few of the members of the chamber.
The members of a legislature represent different political parties. Legislatures vary in the amount of political power they wield, compared to other political players such as judiciaries and executives. In 2009, political scientists M. Steven Fish and Matthew Kroenig constructed a Parliamentary Powers Index in an attempt to quantify the different degrees of power among national legislatures; the German Bundestag, the Italian Parliament, the Mongolian State Great Khural tied for most powerful, while Myanmar's House of Representatives and Somalia's Transitional Federal Assembly tied for least powerful. Some political systems follow the principle of legislative supremacy, which holds that the legislature is the supreme branch of government and cannot be bound by other institutions, such as the judicial branch or a written constitution; such a system renders the legislature more powerful. In parliamentary and semi-presidential systems of government, the executive is responsible to the legislature, which may remove it with a vote of no confidence.
On the other hand, according to the separation of powers doctrine, the legislature in a presidential system is considered an independent and coequal branch of government along with both the judiciary and the executive. Legislatures will sometimes delegate their legislative power to administrative or executive agencies. Legislatures are made up of individual members, known as legislators. A legislature contains a fixed number of legislators. For example, a legislature that has 100 "seats" has 100 members. By extension, an electoral district that elects a single legislator can be described as a "seat", as, example, in the phrases "safe seat" and "marginal seat". A legislature may debate and vote upon bills as a single unit, or it may be composed of multiple separate assemblies, called by various names including legislative chambers, debate chambers, houses, which debate and vote separately and have distinct powers. A legislature which operates as a single unit is unicameral, one divided into two chambers is bicameral, one divided into three chambers is tricameral.
In bicameral legislatures, one chamber is considered the upper house, while the other is considered the lower house. The two types are not rigidly different, but members of upper houses tend to be indirectly elected or appointed rather than directly elected, tend to be allocated by administrative divisions rather than by population, tend to have longer terms than members of the lower house. In some systems parliamentary systems, the upper house has less power and tends to have a more advisory role, but in others presidential systems, the upper house has equal or greater power. In federations, the upper house represents the federation's component states; this is a case with the supranational legislature of the European Union. The upper house may either contain the delegates of state governments – as in the European Union and in Germany and, before 1913, in the United States – or be elected according to a formula that grants equal representation to states with smaller populations, as is the case in Australia and the United States since 1913.
Tricameral legislatures are rare. Tetracameral legislatures no longer exist, but they were used in Scandinavia. Legislatures vary in their size. Among national legislatures, China's National People's Congress is the largest with 2 980 members, while Vatican City's Pontifical Commission is the smallest with 7. Neither legislature is democratically elected: the National People's Congress is indirectly elected. Legislature size is a trade off between representation. Comparative analysis of national legislatures has found that size of a country's lower house tends to be proportional to the cube root of its population.