Riigikogu
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Riigikogu

The 2nd Riigikogu held the legislative power in Estonia from 31 May 1923 until 14 June 1926. Its members belonged to 14 political parties and election unions, most notably the Farmers' Assemblies, Estonian Social Democratic Workers Party, Estonian Labour Party, and Workers' United Front. The parliament passed several important legal acts, including the State Authority Protection Act, Cultural Autonomy of Minority Nations Act, University of Tartu Act, National Coat of Arms Act, Marital Status Act, Riigikogu Elections, Referendums and People's Initiative Act, and Obligatory Defence Forces Service Act.

Elections

The elections of the 2nd Riigikogu were held on 5–7 May 1923. There were 688,675 eligible voters, 477,284 of whom voted, resulting in a turnout rate of 67.8 %.

The elections were won by the Farmers’ Assemblies who received 23 seats (21.6 % of the votes). They were followed by the Estonian Social Democratic Workers Party – 15 seats (14 %), Estonian Labour Party – 12 seats (11.2 %), and Workers’ United Front – 10 seats (9.5 %).

Many parties received less votes but still won seats at the parliament:

  • Estonian People´s Party,
  • Christian People´s Party,
  • Estonian Independent Socialist Workers´ Party,
  • National Liberal Party,
  • Electoral Alliance of the Russian Community,
  • Settlers, State Tenants and Smallholders Group,
  • German-Baltic Party,
  • Landlords´Party,
  • Tenants´Union, and
  • Union of Demobilised Soldiers in Estonia.

The President of the Riigikogu was Jaan Tõnisson until 27 May 1925, and August Rei from 9 June 1925 onwards. The first Vice-President was Karl Johannes Virma until 27 November 1924, from 27 November until 16 December 1924 it was Jaan Soots, and from 16 December 1924 onwards August Jürima.

Legislation

The parliament passed several important legal acts, including the State Authority Protection Act, Cultural Autonomy of Minority Nations Act, University of Tartu Act, National Coat of Arms Act, Marital Status Act, Riigikogu Elections, Referendums and People’s Initiative Act, and Obligatory Defence Forces Service Act.

In his book „Eestit tagasivaates“ (“Estonia in Retrospect” 1987), Helmut Maandi describes work in the Riigikogu: “Attendance of Riigikogu sittings was obligatory for the MPs. Every unjustified absence led to 5 % taken off their salary for that month. In 1930s, an MP’s salary was 180 kroons. Every meeting of a committee brought 4 kroons to the participant. However, one MP could not receive more than 120 kroons a month for participating at committee meetings. This means that the maximum pay that an MP could receive during the session was 300 kroons a month. This was the equivalent of the salary of a higher state official. MPs also had the right to free passage on railways and ships. The Estonian state did not support political parties financially.”

Session Hall of the Riigikogu in the 1920s

Session Hall of the Riigikogu in the 1920s

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Last updated: 16.06.2016

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