At stake in this election:
101 seats in the Parliament (Riigikogu)
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Toomas Hendrik ILVES
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Taavi RÕIVAS
- Assembly: Estonia has a unicameral Parliament (Riigikogu) with 101 seats.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by parliament to serve a 5-year term.*
- The Prime Minister is nominated by the president with the approval of the parliament.
- In the Parliament (Riigikogu) 101 members are elected through an open-list proportional representation system to serve 4-year terms.***
- A candidate must obtain two-thirds (68) of the votes in the parliament to be elected. If this does not happen after two rounds of voting, a third is held the same day between the top two candidates in the previous round. If this round fails to elect a president, an electoral assembly, comprising parliament and members of local councils, elects the president.
*** There are 12 multi-member constituencies with district magnitude ranging from 6 to 13 seats. There is a 5% threshold. Seats are allocated in three rounds. In the first round, seats are awarded to candidates who garner the same or more votes than the simple quota in their electoral districts. In the second round, seats are allocated in a traditional PR method. That is, party lists are awarded seats based on their share of the vote in the district, and candidates within the list receive seats in the order of how many preferential votes they received. In the third round of counting, all remaining mandates are distributed between the national candidate lists with at least 5% of the national vote.
- The current government formed after Prime Minister Andrus Ansip resigned on 26 March 2014 and the president nominated Mr. Taavi Rõivas of the Reform Party to fill the position. The current coalition government includes both the Reform and Social Democratic parties, which have 8 and 6 ministers in government, respectively.[i]
Main parties in the electoral race:
- Party: Reform Party
- Leader: Taavi Rõivas
- Number of Seats won in last election: 33
- Party: Centre Party
- Leader: Edgar Savisaar
- Number of Seats won in last election: 26
- Party: Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica
- Leader: Urmas Reinsalu
- Number of Seats won in last election: 23
- Party: Social Democratic Party
- Leader: Sven Mikser
- Number of Seats won in last election: 19
- The last election for the Riigikogu was held on 6 March 2011. There were 913,346 registered voters for the election. The Estonian Reform Party won 33 seats (of 101), while the Estonian Centre Party won 26 seats, the Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica won 23 seats, and the Social Democratic Party won 19 seats. Neither the Estonian Greens nor the Estonian People’s Union won seats in the 2011 election.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 1,325,000 (2013)
- Registered Voters: 913,346[ii]
- Female Population: 698,109 (2011)[iii]
- Is Estonia a signatory to CEDAW: Yes
- Has Estonia ratified CEDAW: Yes (21 October 1991)[iv]
- Gender Quota: No
- Female Candidates in this election: Yes
- Number of Female Legislators: 19 (19%) of 101 seats in Riigikogu[v]
- Human Development Index (HDI) Position: 33
- Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) Categorization: Not categorized[vi]
- Is Estonia a signatory to CRPD: Yes
- Has Estonia ratified CRPD: Yes (30 May 2012)