The 8th Riigikogu represented Estonian citizens as the legislative power from 11 March 1995 to 13 March 1999 and passed 746 legislative acts. It included the representatives of people from the election coalition the Coalition Party and Rural Union, the Estonian Reform Party, the Centre Party, the election coalitions the Pro Patria and the Estonian National Independence Party Union, the Moderates and “Estonia Is Our Home”, and the political party "The Right Wingers". The most important legislative acts adopted were the Acts on the ratification of the Europe Agreement and the agreement on the withdrawal of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, and the new Chancellor of Justice Act.
The elections of the 8th Riigikogu were held on 5 March 1995. They were the second elections of the Riigikogu after the restoration of the independence of Estonia, and they were held on the basis of the 1992 Constitution. 545 770, that is, 68.9% of the 791 957 citizens with the right to vote went to vote. 7 election coalitions, 9 political parties and 12 independent candidates participated in the elections. Altogether 1256 candidates were nominated.
The main winners of the elections were the political parties and election coalitions that had formed the opposition in the previous Riigikogu, in particular the Centre Party and the Coalition Party, who formed an election coalition with the Rural Union that united the political parties which had not been elected to the previous Riigikogu. The Reform Party, established on the basis of the Liberal Democratic Party and supporters of Siim Kallas , was very successful, especially among the urban voters. The election coalition “Estonia Is Our Home”, representing the Russian-speaking population, also crossed the election threshold.
Arnold Rüütel from the Estonian Country People’s Party and Edgar Savisaar from the Centre Party were elected the Vice-Presidents.
The 8th Riigikogu was convened for the first sitting on 21 March 1995 and it held its last sitting on 25 February 1999. The mandate of this Riigikogu lasted from 11 March 1995 to 13 March 1999.
Altogether 746 legislative acts were passed, of which 345 were Acts on amendments to earlier Acts, 155 consolidated texts of Acts, 119 Acts concerning international agreements and 110 Resolutions of the Riigikogu.
The main achievements of the 8th Riigikogu were the Act on the Ratification of the Agreement between the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation on the Withdrawal of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation from the Territory of the Republic of Estonia and the Conditions of Their Temporary Presence and the Act on the Ratification of the Agreement between the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation on Issues of Social Guarantees to the Pensioners of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the Territory of the Republic of Estonia, as well as the Act on the Ratification of the Europe Agreement Establishing an Association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Estonia, of the other part (the Europe Agreement). On the basis of the latter, preparations for Estonia’s accession to the European Union were begun.
Also important was the new Chancellor of Justice Act, which gave the Chancellor of Justice the role of ombudsman, that is, the person who reviews complaints against activities of state and local government authorities, and an advisor. The 8th Riigikogu also continued the regulation of the organisation of the work of constitutional institutions, and, taking into account the implementation practice that had evolved, amendments were made to the Acts passed by the 7th Riigikogu or new Acts were passed.
Altogether 746 legislative acts were passed, of which 345 were Acts on amendments to earlier Acts, 155 consolidated texts of Acts, 119 Acts concerning international agreements and 110 Resolutions of the Riigikogu. The Riigikogu made 2 statements. The 8th Riigikogu adopted no communications or declarations.
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