The Riigikogu (Estonian pronunciation: [ˈriːɡikoɡu]; from riigi-, of the state, and kogu, assembly) is the unicameral parliament of Estonia. All important state-related questions pass through the Riigikogu. In addition to approving legislation, the Riigikogu appoints high officials, including the Prime Minister and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and elects (either alone or, if necessary, together with representatives of local government within a broader electoral college) the President. The Riigikogu also ratifies significant foreign treaties that impose military and proprietary obligations, bring about changes in law, etc.; approves the budget presented by the government as law and monitors the executive power.

Estonian Parliament

XIV Riigikogu
Founded23 April 1919
Disbandedsuspended from 1940-1991
President of the Riigikogu
Henn Põlluaas, EKRE
since 4 April 2019
First Vice-President of the Riigikogu
Helir-Valdor Seeder, Pro Patria
since 4 April 2019
Second Vice-President of the Riigikogu
Siim Kallas, Reform
since 4 April 2019
Seats101 (list)
Political groups
Government (56)

Opposition (45)

Party-list proportional representation
Modified D'Hondt method
Last election
3 March 2019
Next election
5 March 2023
Meeting place
Toompea Castle, Tallinn
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of


Early elections

April 23, 1919, the opening session of the Estonian Constituent Assembly is the birthday of the Estonian Parliament.[1] The first elections to the Riigikogu took place in 1920. From 1920 to 1938, there were five more elections to the Riigikogu, but several were on the basis of different constitutions. In 1920–1923 there was a closed list, while from 1926 to 1934 there was an optional open list choice. The basis of election was until 1932 proportional representation. The elections were on a regional basis, without any threshold in the first two elections, but from 1926 a moderate threshold (2%) was used.


From 1938–1940 the National Assembly was divided into two chambers: The Chamber of Deputies (Riigivolikogu) and the National Council (Riiginõukogu).

It was replaced by the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic (August 25, 1940–1990) and the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia (May 8, 1990 – October 5, 1992).

Toompea castle

Since 1922, the sessions of the Riigikogu have taken place in the Toompea castle, where a new building in an unusual Expressionist style was erected in the former courtyard of the medieval castle in 1920–1922. During the subsequent periods of Soviet occupation (1940–41), German occupation (1941–44) and the second Soviet occupation (1944–1991) the Riigikogu was disbanded. The castle and the building of the Riigikogu were used by the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR during the second Soviet occupation.

Independence from the Soviet Union

In September 1992, a year after Estonia had regained its independence from the Soviet Union, elections to the Riigikogu took place according to the Constitution of Estonia adopted in the summer of the same year. According to the 1992 constitution, the Riigikogu has 101 members. The present Riigikogu was elected on March 3, 2019. The main differences between this system and a pure political representation, or proportional representation, system are the established 5% national threshold, and the use of a modified D'Hondt formula (the divisor is raised to the power 0.9). This modification makes for more disproportionality than does the usual form of the formula.

Latest election

Party Votes % Seats ±
Estonian Reform Party162,36428.934+4
Estonian Centre Party129,61723.126−1
Conservative People's Party99,67217.819+12
Social Democratic Party55,1689.810−5
Estonia 20024,4474.40New
Estonian Greens10,2261.800
Richness of Life6,8581.20New
Estonian Free Party6,4601.20−8
Estonian United Left5100.100
Independent candidates1,5900.300
Invalid/blank votes3,897
Registered voters/turnout887,41963.7
Source: Valimised

Current seat allocation

Speakers of the Riigikogu

The salary of the speaker is €5,288 per month.[3]


Name Period Legislature
Otto Strandman January 4, 1921–November 18, 1921 I Riigikogu[4]
Juhan Kukk November 18, 1921–November 20, 1922 I Riigikogu[4]
Konstantin Päts November 20, 1922–June 7, 1923 I Riigikogu[4]
Jaan Tõnisson June 7, 1923–May 27, 1925 II Riigikogu[4]
August Rei June 9, 1925–June 22, 1926 II Riigikogu[4]
Karl Einbund June 22, 1926-July 19, 1932 III Riigikogu, IV Riigikogu, V Riigikogu[4]
Jaan Tõnisson July 19, 1932–May 18, 1933 V Riigikogu[4]
Karl Einbund May 18, 1933–August 29, 1934 V Riigikogu[4]
Rudolf Penno September 28, 1934–December 31, 1937 V Riigikogu[4]

Speakers of the Riigivolikogu (lower chamber)

Name Period Legislature
Jüri Uluots April 21, 1938–October 12, 1939 VI Riigikogu[4]
Otto Pukk October 17, 1939–July 5, 1940 VI Riigikogu[4]
Arnold Veimer July 21, 1940–August 25, 1940

Speaker of the Riiginõukogu (upper chamber)

Name Period Legislature
Mihkel Pung April 21, 1938–July 5, 1940 VI Riigikogu[4]

Chairman of the Supreme Council (1990–1992)

Name Period
Arnold Rüütel March 29, 1990–October 5, 1992

Speaker of the Supreme Council (1990–1992)

Name Period
Ülo Nugis March 29, 1990–October 5, 1992

Since 1992

Name Period Legislature
Ülo Nugis October 21, 1992–March 21, 1995 VII Riigikogu[4]
Toomas Savi March 21, 1995–March 31, 2003 VIII Riigikogu, IX Riigikogu[4]
Ene Ergma March 31, 2003–March 23, 2006 X Riigikogu[4]
Toomas Varek March 23, 2006–April 2, 2007 X Riigikogu[4]
Ene Ergma April 2, 2007–March 20, 2014 XI Riigikogu, XII Riigikogu[4]
Eiki Nestor March 20, 2014–April 4, 2019 XII Riigikogu, XIII Riigikogu[4]
Henn Põlluaas April 4, 2019–present XIV Riigikogu[4]

See also


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