Estonia was one of the republics of the Soviet Union and was formally annexed as the Estonian SSR in August 1940. The country formally declared regained independence on 20 August 1991, during the Soviet military coup attempt in Moscow. The last Russian troops left on 31 August 1994.
Estonia is a parliamentary democracy and therefore the President (currently Toomas Hendrik Ilves), mainly a symbolic figure, holds no executive power. The contemporary Estonian government follows the principles of separation of power and its people elect a 101-member parliament every four years. Only Estonian citizens may participate in parliamentary elections. The Prime Minister is Andrus Ansip. The Parliament chooses a president, who can be in office for a five year period and a maximum of two terms. The President is the Supreme Commander of the National Defence of Estonia. A party must gather 5% of the votes in order to become part of the Parliament. As a rule, the President asks the party leader who has collected the most votes to form the new government.
Last national elections: 2007
Last European Parliament election June 2009
|Estonian parliament building in Tallinn - source|