Prime Minister of Estonia

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Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia
Eesti Vabariigi peaminister
Coat of arms of Estonia.svg
Kaja Kallas (crop).jpg
Incumbent
Kaja Kallas

since 26 January 2021
Government of Estonia
Style Madam Prime Minister
(informal)
Her Excellency
(diplomatic)
Type Head of government
Member of European Council
Residence Stenbock House
Appointer President
Term length No term limit
Inaugural holder Konstantin Päts
Formation24 February 1918;103 years ago (1918-02-24)
Abolished 1940–1991
Salary€5,288 monthly [1]
Website http://valitsus.ee/

The prime minister of Estonia (Estonian: peaminister) is the head of government of the Republic of Estonia. The prime minister is nominated by the president after appropriate consultations with the parliamentary factions and confirmed by the Parliament. In case of disagreement, the Parliament can reject the president's nomination and choose their own candidate. In practice, since the prime minister must maintain the confidence of Parliament in order to remain in office, they are usually the leader of the senior partner in the governing coalition. The current prime minister is Kaja Kallas of the Reform Party. [2] She took the office on 26 January 2021 following the resignation of Jüri Ratas.

Contents

In their role as appointed by the president, the prime minister does not head any specific ministry. Rather, in accordance with the constitution, they supervise of the work of the government. The prime minister's significance and role in the government and their relations with other ministries often depend on the position of the party led by the prime minister in vis-à-vis the coalition partners, and on how much influence the prime minister possesses within its own party. If the prime minister has a strong position within his/her party, and the government is made up solely of representatives of that party, the prime minister can enjoy considerable authority. In all crucial national questions, however, the final word rests with Riigikogu as the legislative power.

Unlike counterparts in other parliamentary republics, the prime minister is both de jure and de facto chief executive. This is because the Constitution explicitly vests executive power in the Government, of which the prime minister is the leader. In most other parliamentary republics, the president is at least nominal chief executive, while bound by convention to act on the cabinet's advice.

History

After Estonia's independence from the Russian Empire in 1918, the Provisional Government of Estonia was led by a Prime Minister until 1920. The 1920 Constitution set up a head of government whose position called the State Elder (riigivanem) and there was no separate head of state. This system was a radically parliamentary system because the State Elder could be dismissed by the Riigikogu with a simple majority. Moreover, the State Elder was not the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, nor could they ratify laws or dissolve the Riigikogu. The dissolution of Parliament was only possible through a referendum. [3] Under the 1934 Constitution passed by plebiscite, the position of Prime Minister was recreated as head of government in a more presidential system. Under this constitution, the head of state took the name State Elder (riigivanem) identical to the name for the 1920–1934 head of government. The newly established head of state could appoint and dismiss the Prime Minister and Cabinet, veto laws, give decrees (statutes) and dissolve the Riigikogu. [4] The incumbent Prime Minister in duties of the State Elder of Estonia Konstantin Päts, staged a coup d'état to counter the threat of the Vaps Movement and suspended the full implementation of the 1934 Constitution, not going ahead with elections for the new head of state and disbanding the Riigikogu. Päts remained the Prime Minister in duties of the State Elder and declared himself "President-regent" for 1937–1938. According to the 1938 Constitution, the position of the Prime Minister was retained, while the head of state was finally renamed the President under a presidential system. The 1992 Constitution after the Soviet occupation reinstated the 1938–1940 positions of Prime Minister and President under a parliamentary system.

1918–1920

PortraitNameTerm of OfficePolitical PartyCabinet Riigikogu
(Election)
Separate
Head of State
Took OfficeLeft OfficeDays
The executive order of the Provisional Government and the Council of Elders of the Provincial Assembly replaced the office of Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
Konstantin Pats.jpg Konstantin Päts
(1874–1956)
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
of the Provisional Government
24 February 191812 November 1918440 Country People's Union
(EMRL)
Päts I Provisional
EMRLETEEDEESDTP
Provisional
Provincial
Assembly
(1917)
None
Prime Minister
of the Provisional Government
12 November 191827 November 1918Päts II Provisional
EMRLETEEDE
EMRLETEEDEESDTP
[Note 1]
27 November 19189 May 1919Päts III Provisional
EMRLETEEDEESDTP
EMRLETEEDEESDTPSEE
EMRLETEEDEESDTPSEEVKK
EMRLETEEREESDTPSEEVKK
[Note 2]
1 Prime minister Otto Strandman.jpg Otto August Strandman
(1875–1941)
1st Prime Minister
9 May 191918 November 1919194 Labour Party
(ETE)
Strandman I
ETEESDTPERE
ETEESDTP
[Note 3]
Constituent
Assembly
(1919)
2 Jaan Tonisson1928.jpg Jaan Tõnisson
(1868–1941?)
2nd Prime Minister
18 November 191928 July 1920254 People's Party
(ERE)
Tõnisson I
EREETEESDTP
EREETE–(ESDTP)
[Note 4]
3 Ado Birk.jpg Ado Birk
(1883–1942)
3rd Prime Minister
28 July 192030 July 19203 People's Party
(ERE)
Birk
EREETEKRE
4 Jaan Tonisson1928.jpg Jaan Tõnisson
(1868–1941?)
4th Prime Minister
(2nd term)
30 July 192026 October 192089 People's Party
(ERE)
Tõnisson II
ERE
5 Ants Piip, 1923.jpg Ants Piip
(1884–1942)
5th Prime Minister
26 October 192020 December 192092 Labour Party
(ETE)
Piip
ETE
The 1920 Constitution replaced the office with State Elder.

1934–1937

PortraitNameTerm of OfficePolitical PartyCabinet Riigikogu
(Election)
Separate
Head of State
Took OfficeLeft OfficeDays
The 1934 Constitution divided the office of State Elder between a new office called State Elder and a Prime Minister.
6 Konstantin Pats.jpg Konstantin Päts
(1874–1956)

6th Prime Minister
(in duties of the State Elder)

24 January 19343 September 19371,319 Farmers' Assemblies
(PK)
[Note 5]
Päts V
non-party coalition
[Note 6]
V
(1932)
Prime Minister
in duties of
the State Elder

Konstantin
Päts
None
[Note 7]
Parliament
suspended

[Note 8]
The Amendment Act of the 1938 Constitution temporarily merged the offices of State Elder and Prime Minister into President-Regent.

1938–1944

PortraitNameTerm of OfficePolitical PartyCabinet Riigikogu
(Election)
Separate
Head of State
Took OfficeLeft OfficeDays
The 1938 Constitution divided the office of President-Regent between a President and a Prime Minister.
7 Kaarel Eenpalu.jpg Kaarel Eenpalu
(formerly Karl August Einbund)
(1888–1942)
Acting Prime Minister
24 April 19389 May 1938537None
[Note 7]
Päts V
(continued)
non-party coalition
[Note 6]
Parliament
disbanded

[Note 9]
President
Konstantin
Päts

(1938–1940)
7th Prime Minister
(2nd term)
9 May 193812 October 1939Eenpalu II
non-party coalition
[Note 10]
VI
(1938)
8 Juri Uluots.jpg Jüri Uluots
(1890–1945)
8th Prime Minister
12 October 193921 June 1940
[Note 11]
254None
[Note 7]
Uluots
non-party coalition
1st Soviet Occupation (1940–1941)
German Occupation (1941–1944)
Otto Tief.jpg Otto Tief
(1889–1976)
Acting Prime Minister
18 September 1944
[Note 12]
25 September 1944
[Note 13]
8NoneTief
non-party coalition
Parliament
disbanded
Prime Minister
in duties of
the President
Jüri Uluots
[Note 14]
2nd Soviet Occupation
(See Estonian Government in Exile)

1990–present

PortraitNameTerm of OfficePolitical PartyCabinet Riigikogu
(Election)
Separate
Head of State
Took OfficeLeft OfficeDays
2nd Soviet Occupation
(See Estonian Government in Exile)
Edgar Savisaar 2005-crop.jpg Edgar Savisaar
(b. 1950)
1st Prime Minister
of the Interim Government
3 April 1990
[Note 15]
29 January 1992668 Popular Front of Estonia
(ERR)
[Note 16]
Estonian People's Centre Party
(ERKE)
Savisaar Interim
various coalition partners
Supreme
Soviet
(1990)

[Note 17]
Chairman of the
Supreme Soviet
Chairman of the
Supreme Council

Arnold Rüütel
[Note 17]
Tiit Vahi teisel Arvamusfestivalil Narvas.jpg Tiit Vähi
(b. 1947)
2nd Prime Minister
of the Interim Government
29 January 199221 October 1992266NoneVähi Interim
various coalition partners
President
Lennart Georg Meri
(1992–2001)
[Note 18]
9 Mart Laar.png Mart Laar
(b. 1960)
9th Prime Minister
21 October 19928 November 1994749 Pro Patria
(I)
[Note 19]
Pro Patria National Coalition Party
(RKEI)
Laar I

I M ERSP
RKEI M ERSP
RKEI M ERSPELDP
RKEI M ERSP–(ELDP)
RKEI M ERSPELDP
[Note 20]
[Note 21]

VII
(1992)
10 Andres Tarand 12.4.2012.jpg Andres Tarand
(b. 1940)
10th Prime Minister
8 November 199417 April 1995161 Moderates
(M)
[Note 20]
Tarand
M RKEIERSPELDPVKRE
[Note 20]
11 Tiit Vahi teisel Arvamusfestivalil Narvas.jpg Tiit Vähi
(b. 1947)
11th Prime Minister
(2nd term)
17 April 19956 November 1995701 Coalition Party and
Country People's Alliance

(KMÜ)
Vähi I
KMÜEKE
VIII
(1995)
6 November 199517 March 1997Vähi II
KMÜERE
KMÜ
KMÜ–AP
[Note 22]
12 Siimann Mart.IMG 2960.JPG Mart Siimann
(b. 1946)
12th Prime Minister
17 March 199725 March 1999739 Coalition Party and
Country People's Alliance

(KMÜ)
Siimann
KMÜ–AP
13 Mart Laar.png Mart Laar
(b. 1960)
13th Prime Minister
(2nd term)
25 March 199928 January 20021,041 Pro Patria Union
(IL)
Laar II
ILRMERE
IX
(1999)
President
Arnold Rüütel
(2001–2006)
[Note 18]
14 Kallas Siim.IMG 3350.JPG Siim Kallas
(b. 1948)
14th Prime Minister
28 January 200210 April 2003438 Reform Party
(ERE)
S. Kallas
EREEKE
15 Juhan-Parts.jpg Juhan Parts
(b. 1966)
15th Prime Minister
10 April 200312 April 2005735 Res Publica Party
(RP)
Parts
RPEREERL
X
(2003)
16 Portrait Andrus Ansip.jpg Andrus Ansip
(b. 1956)
16th Prime Minister
12 April 20055 April 20073,271 Reform Party
(ERE)
Ansip I
EREEKEERL
President
Toomas Hendrik Ilves
(2006–2016)
[Note 18]
5 April 20076 April 2011 Ansip II
EREIRLSDE
EREIRL
[Note 23]
XI
(2007)
6 April 201126 March 2014 Ansip III
EREIRL
XII
(2011)
17 RE Taavi Roivas.jpg Taavi Rõivas
(b. 1979)
17th Prime Minister
26 March 20149 April 2015973 Reform Party
(ERE)
Rõivas I
ERESDE
9 April 201523 November 2016 Rõivas II
ERESDEIRL
XIII
(2015)
President
Kersti Kaljulaid
(2016–2021)
18 Juri Ratas 2017-05-25 (cropped).jpg Jüri Ratas
(b. 1978)
18th Prime Minister
23 November 201629 April 20191525 Centre Party
(EKE)
Ratas I
EKESDEIRL
EKESDEI
[Note 24]
29 April 201926 January 2021 Ratas II
EKEEKREI
XIV
(2019)
19 Kaja Kallas (crop).jpg Kaja Kallas
(b. 1977)
19th Prime Minister
26 January 2021Incumbent352 Reform Party
(ERE)
Kallas
EREEKE
President
Alar Karis
(2021–)

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References

  1. "Riigikogu liikmete ja teiste kõrgemate riigiteenijate palk ei muutu". Postimees. 15 March 2017.
  2. "8th parliamentary term, European Parliament". europarl.europa.eu. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  3. (Seppo Zetterberg, "A History of Estonia" / Viron historia. 3rd edition. Helsinki: The Finnish Literary Society / Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2007, pages 524–525)
  4. (Zetterberg 2007, pages 558–559)

Notes

  1. The Estonian Social Democratic Workers' Party (ESDTP) joined the coalition on 16 November 1918.
  2. The German Party in Estonia (SEE) joined the coalition on 28 November 1918. The Russian Citizens' Assembly (VKK) joined the coalition on 28 February 1919. The Estonian Democratic Party (EDE) merged with the Estonian Radical Democratic Party (ERDE) to form the Estonian People's Party (ERE) on 1 March 1919 and the new party remained in the government.
  3. The Estonian People's Party (ERE) left the coalition on 20 September 1919.
  4. The Estonian Social Democratic Workers' Party (ESDTP) left the coalition on 1 July 1920, but its ministers remained in office.
  5. All political parties were banned on 20 March 1935.
  6. 1 2 Although Konstantin Päts resigned as President-Regent on 24 April 1938 to become the President on the same day, his cabinet remained temporarily in office until 9 May 1938, headed by acting Prime Minister Kaarel Eenpalu.
  7. 1 2 3 Was member of the Patriotic League which was the only sanctioned political organization, but which cannot be considered a political party per se.
  8. The "Era of Silence" began with Konstantin Päts' self-coup on 12 March 1934. The Riigikogu approved of the coup retroactively on 15 March 1934. The Riigikogu was thereafter not convened after 2 October 1934. It was officially disbanded on 1 January 1938.
  9. The "Era of Silence" began with Konstantin Päts' self-coup on 12 March 1934. The Riigikogu approved of the coup retroactively on 15 March 1934. The Riigikogu was thereafter not convened after 2 October 1934. It was officially disbanded on 1 January 1938.
  10. As Karl August Einbund Estonianized his name into Kaarel Eenpalu, his two cabinets are therefore known as Einbund I and Eenpalu II cabinets.
  11. The Soviet Union occupied Estonia on 17 June 1940. The Soviet regime staged a pro-Soviet coup d'état on 21 June 1940, replacing the Jüri Uluots cabinet with that of Johannes Vares. The Republic of Estonia does not consider the Johannes Vares cabinet a legal government of Estonia and considers the Jüri Uluots cabinet to have legally remained in office until 18 September 1944.
  12. Prime Minister in the duties of the President Jüri Uluots appointed a new government after the departure of German forces, hoping to restore Estonian independence before the arrival of Soviet forces.
  13. The Soviet Union occupied Estonia on 17 June 1940. The Soviet regime staged a pro-Soviet coup d'état on 21 June 1940, replacing the Jüri Uluots cabinet with that of Johannes Vares. The Republic of Estonia does not consider the Johannes Vares cabinet a legal government of Estonia and considers the Jüri Uluots cabinet to have legally remained in office until 18 September 1944.
  14. The legal Prime Minister Jüri Uluots assumed the role of Prime Minister in the duties of the President on 18 September 1944, after the departure of German forces and before the arrival of Soviet forces.
  15. The Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR on 30 March 1990 declared Soviet rule to have been illegal since 1940 and declared a transition period for full independence. Full independence was restored on 20 August 1991.
  16. The Popular Front of Estonia formed the Estonian People's Centre Party on 12 October 1991.
  17. 1 2 The "Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic" was renamed the "Republic of Estonia" on 8 May 1990 and thus the translation of the Ülemnõukogu was changed from "Supreme Soviet" to "Supreme Council".
  18. 1 2 3 President left the party upon assuming office.
  19. The electoral alliance "Pro Patria" formed the Pro Patria National Coalition Party on 21 November 1992.
  20. 1 2 3 The electoral alliance "Moderates" (M) consisted of the Social Democratic Party (ESDP) and the Estonian Rural Centre Party (EMKE).
  21. The Estonian Liberal Democratic Party (ELDP) joined the coalition on 11 January 1994. Its ministers resigned on 21 June 1994, but the party decided to remain in the coalition and named a minister on 27 June 1994.
  22. The Estonian Reform Party (ERE) left the coalition on 1 December 1996. The Progress Party (AP) joined the coalition on 9 December 1996.
  23. The Social Democratic Party (SDE) left the coalition on 21 May 2009.
  24. The Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica was renamed Party Pro Patria on 2 June 2018.

See also