Parliamentary Chamber: Riigikogu


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  20 September 1992

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in the Parliament provided for in the Constitution of July 1992, promulgated 11 months after independence was declared.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The date of Estonia’s first post-independence elections – and first free polling since World War II – was set on 9 July 1992 by the outgoing Parliament shortly after adoption of a new Constitution. The franchise was limited to Estonian citizens as defined in the recently adopted citizenship law, thus barring thousands of ethnic Russian leadership and led to pre-election clashes between the two nations’ armed forces.

Altogether 628 candidates and 17 parties or coalitions vied for the State Assembly’s 101 seats; independent candidates numbered 25. Issues debated during the generally low-key campaign included the economic situation and the transition to a free-market system. On polling day, the right-wing nationalist Pro Patria (Fatherland) alliance and other conservative parties topped the legislative voting and nine parties or alliances in all achieved parliamentary representation. In simultaneous presidential elections, no candidate gained an absolute majority, so that a run-off vote between the two leading contestants was held in the newly elected Parliament on 5 October.

The victory went to Mr. Lenmart Meri, who had been supported by most of the main parties in the Assembly; he succeeded Mr. Arnold Ruutel of Safe Home (Kindel Kogu). Mr. Mart Laar, leader of Pro Patria, became Prime Minister at the head of a 15-member right-wing Cabinet, which comprised representatives of his own party, the Moderates coalition and the Estonian National Independence Party (ENIP). Mr. Laar indicated that the principal objectives of his administration would be to negotiate the withdrawal of all Russian troops remaining in Estonia, as well as to accelerate the privatization programme in the economic sector.

Round no 1 (20 September 1992): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 689,319
Voters 467,629 (67.8%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 1.5%
Valid votes 98.5%

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Candidates Votes %
Pro Patria (Isamaa) 101 100,828 22.0
Safe Home (Kindel Kogu) 73 62,329 13.6
Popular Front 104 56,124 12.2
Moderates 49 44,577 9.7
Estonian National Independence Party (ENIP) 96 40,260 8.7
Citizens of Estonia 26 31,553 6.8
Independent Royalists n.a. n.a. n.a.
Greens 14 12,069 2.6
Estonian Entrepreneurs’ Party 14 10,946 2.3

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Pro Patria (Isamaa) 29
Safe Home (Kindel Kogu) 17
Popular Front 15
Moderates 12
Estonian National Independence Party (ENIP) 10
Citizens of Estonia 8
Independent Royalists 8
Greens 1
Estonian Entrepreneurs’ Party 1

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 88
Women: 13

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Copyright 1992 Inter-Parliamentary Union