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Riigikogu (The Estonian Parliament)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Mandate module

Parliament name (generic / translated) Riigikogu / The Estonian Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Nature of the mandate · Free representation (Art. 62 of the Constitution of 29.06.1992)
Start of the mandate · When the results are declared (Art. 61 (1) of the Constitution, Art. 40 (1) of the Electoral Law)
Validation of mandates · No validation
End of the mandate · On the day when the election results are declared (Art. 61 (1) of the Constitution) (for early dissolution, see Art. 89 (6), 97 (4), 105 (4), and 119 of the Constitution)
Can MPs resign? Yes · Of their own free will (see also Art. 64 (2) No. 3 of the Con-stitution)
· Procedure: application to the Board of the Riigikogu; the reason for resigning must be specified
· Authority competent to accept the resignation:
Can MPs lose their mandate? Yes (a) Loss of mandate by judicial decision:
- Loss of eligibility: guilty verdict of a court (Art. 64 (2) No. 2 in connection with Art. 58 and 60 (2) of the Constitution)
- Sentence of the National Court declaring an MP permanently incapable of fulfilling his duties (Art. 64 (2) No. 4 of the Constitu-tion)
(b) Loss of mandate for incompatibilities (Art. 64 (2) No. 1 in con-nection with Art. 63 (1) of the Constitution)
(c) Death (Art. 64 (2) No. 5 of the Constitution)
(d) Loss of mandate for refusal to take the oath of conscience or for confirmation of untrue information by the oath (Art. 6 (2) and 7 (1) of the Law on the Application of the Constitution)
Rank in hierarchy · Within Parliament:
1. The President
2. The two Vice-Presidents
3. The Chairmen of the committees
4. The Deputy Chairmen of the committees
5. The Chairmen of the factions
6. The Deputy Chairmen of the factions
· Outside Parliament: the official order of precedence ranks the President in the 2nd position.
Indemnities, facilities and services · Diplomatic passport (at this moment, approximately one third hold diplomatic passports)
Basic salary (see Art. 75 of the Constitution): approx. US$ 1,050 per month (MP), approx. US$ 1,570 per month (President) + Al-lowance for representation expenses: 20% of the basic salary
· Total exemption from tax
· Pension scheme (Law on Remuneration, Pension and other Social Guarantees for Members of Riigikogu)
· Other facilities:
(a) Secretariat, assistants for the factions
(b) Official housing if residence outside of Tallinn
(c) Postal and telephone services
(d) Travel and transport
(e) Others: National Library (Law on the National Library of Estonia)
Obligation to declare personal assets Yes
Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary non-accountability · The concept does exist (Art. 62 of the Constitution).
· Parliamentary non-accountability is limited to words spoken or written by MPs and votes cast within Parliament.
· Derogations: slander and libel
· Non-accountability takes effect on the day when the mandate begins and offers, after the expiry of the mandate, protection against prosecution for opinions expressed during the exercise of the mandate.
Parliamentary immunity - parliamentary inviolability · The concept does exist (Art. 76 of the Constitution).
· It applies only to criminal proceedings, covers all offences with the exception of minor offences which do not involve criminal proceedings, and protects MPs only from the opening of judicial proceedings.
· No derogations are foreseen.
· Parliamentary inviolability does not prevent MPs from being called as witnesses before a judge or tribunal.
· Protection is provided from the start to the end of the mandate. It does not cover judicial proceedings instituted against MPs before their election.
· Parliamentary immunity (inviolability) can be lifted (Art. 76 of the Constitution):
- Competent authority: the Riigikogu
- Procedure (Art. 76 and 139 (3) of the Constitution). In this case, MPs cannot be heard. They do not have means of appeal.
· Parliament cannot subject the prosecution and/or detention to certain conditions.
· Parliament cannot suspend the prosecution and/or detention of one of its members.
· In the event of preventive custody or imprisonment, the MPs concerned cannot be authorised to attend sittings of Parliament.
Training · There is a training/initiation process on parliamentary practices and procedures for MPs.
· It is provided by the Chancellery of Parliament.
· Handbook of parliamentary procedure:
- Special Collection of Legal Acts
Participation in the work of the Parliament · It is compulsory for MPs to be present at plenary sittings, committee meetings and other meetings.
· Penalties foreseen in case of failure to fulfil this obligation: no sanction, apart from publication of participation in the press
Discipline · Specific cases : MPs cannot be accused of offending or insulting Parliament.
Code (rules) of conduct · This concept does not exist in the country's juridical system but there are some relevant provisions (Art. 64 (2) No. 1 in connection with Art. 63 (1) of the Constitution, Art. 6 (2) and 7 (1) of the Law on the Application of the Constitution). For the declaration of interests, see Obligation to declare personal assets.
· Penalties foreseen for violation of the rules of conduct (Art. 64 (2) No. 1 in connection with Art. 63 (1) of the Constitution, Art. 6 (2) and 7 (1) of the Law on the Application of the Constitution): loss of mandate (incompatibilities, refusal to take the oath of conscience or confirmation of untrue information by the oath)
Relations between MPs and pressure group · There are no legal provisions in this field.

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