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Riigikogu (The Estonian Parliament)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Riigikogu / The Estonian Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 4 March 2007
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office
On 30 November 2006 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves called elections for the Riigikogu for 4 March 2007. The country had joined the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004. It has been enjoying a booming economy with GDP growth reaching 11.5 per cent in 2006 supported by its high-tech industry.

In the last elections held in March 2003 the Res Publica and the Reform Party won 29 seats each. In April Mr. Juhan Parts leader of the Res Publica formed a coalition government comprising the Res Publica the Reform Party of Mr. Andrus Ansip and People's Union. However Prime Minister Parts resigned in March 2005 following a vote of no confidence against the Minister of Justice Mr. Ken-Marti Vaher whose proposal for a controversial anti-corruption bill triggered a stalemate in the Riigikogu.

In April 2005 Mr. Ansip of the Reform Party formed a new coalition government with the Centre Party led by Mr. Edgar Savisaar Estonia's first prime minister following independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and the Estonian People's Union (R) a small agrarian party. The three parties reportedly disagreed on economic policies but Prime Minister Ansip maintained the pragmatic coalition until the 2007 elections.

In the 2007 elections 11 political parties endorsed a total of 975 candidates. They included two political parties representing Russian minorities. Approximately 7 per cent of the 1.34 million-strong population of Estonia still hold a Russian passport and another 9 per cent (mainly people of Russian origin) have no formal nationality. Neither group is allowed to vote.

The opposition Res Publica and the Pro Patria merged in June 2006 under the new name of Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) co-led by Mr. Tõnis Lukas and Mr. Taavi Veskimägi. The Reform Party pledged to maintain the country's flat tax and enhance market-friendly policies. Prime Minister Ansip called for voters' support for his party pledging further economic growth. Stating that his party's programme was compatible with the IRL's a possible post-election coalition could not be ruled out. The Centre Party which has been supported by the Russian minority pushed forward a progressive tax system and promised to provide a better welfare system. Mr. Salvisaar pledged to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. The Moderates' Party which changed its name to the Social Democratic Party (SDE) in February 2004 was led by Mr. Ivari Padar. The SDE promised to provide better education. The Estonian Greens (EER) formed in November 2006 also fielded candidates. It was co-led by Peeter Jalakas Valdur Lahtvee Maret Merisaar and Marek Strandberg.

Internet voting was used for the first time with approximately 31 000 voters casting their ballot on the Internet. In all 61.9 per cent of the 897 000 registered voters turned out at the polls up from 58 per cent in the 2003 elections.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) observed the polls. It praised the democratic and transparent nature of the election process. While acknowledging significant efforts made by the Estonian Government to naturalize and integrate persons without citizenship it encouraged further steps to facilitate citizenship for such people.

The final results gave 31 seats to the Reform Party 12 more than in the 2003 elections. The outgoing coalition secured a total of 66 seats in the 101-seat parliament. No parties representing the Russian minorities passed the threshold of five per cent to win a seat.

The newly elected Parliament held its first session on 2 April 2007 and elected Ms. Ene Ergma (IRL) who had served as Speaker of the Riigikogu between March 2003 and March 2006 as its new Speaker with 91 of 101 votes.

After the elections however Mr. Ansip announced a new coalition government comprising his own Reform Party which won 31 seats the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) (which took 29) and the SDE (which won 10 seats). The new government was officially sworn in on 5 April.
Voter turnout
Round no 14 March 2007
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
555'463 (61.91%)
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Reform Party 153'047 27.82
Center Party 143'524 26.09
Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) 98'203 17.85
Estonian Social Democratic Party (SDE) 58'346 10.60
Estonian Greens 39'304 7.14
Estonian People's Union (R) 39'216 7.13
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Gain/Loss
Reform Party 31 12
Center Party 29 1
Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) 19 -16
Estonian Social Democratic Party (SDE) 10 4
Estonian Greens 6
Estonian People's Union (R) 6 -7
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
21 to 30 years
31 to 40 years
41 to 50 years
51 to 60 years
61 to 70 years
Distribution of seats according to profession
Scientists and researchers 26
Engineers/PC experts 15
Legal professions 14
Economists 12
Educators 8
Civil/public servants/administrators (including social/development workers) 6
Liberal professions (including artists authors) and sports professionals 5
Media-related professions (journalists/publishers) 5
Others 4
Business/trade/industry employees including executives 4
Farmers/agricultural workers (including wine growers) 2
- http://www.vvk.ee/r07/paeveng.stm
- the Estonian IPU Group (15.03.2007 01.01.2010)

Note on distribution of seats according to sex:
Twenty-four women were elected on 4 March. However after the formation of the new government on 5 April 2007 some female members who had been elected resigned to take up ministerial posts. Consequently the total number of women parliamentarians decreased to 22 (21.78 per cent).

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