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The Estonian Government

09.03.2017

The current Government coalition consists of three political parties: the Estonian Centre Party (Eesti Keskerakond), the Social Democratic Party (Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond) and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit).

The coalition assumed office on November 23, 2016. President Kersti Kaljulaid called Mr Jüri Ratas, chairman of the Centre Party, to be the next Prime Minister.

 Prime Minister
 Jüri Ratas
 CP
 Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology  Urve Palo
 SD
 Minister of Education and Research  Mailis Reps
 CP
 Minister of Justice  Urmas Reinsalu
 PPRP
 Minister of Defence   Jüri Luik
 PPRP
 Minister of the Environment  Siim Kiisler
 PPRP
 Minister of Culture   Indrek Saar  SD
 Minister of Rural Affairs  Tarmo Tamm  CP
 Minister of the Economic Affairs and Infrastructure  Kadri Simson
 CP
 Minister of Finance  Toomas Tõniste
 PPRP
 Minister of Public Administration  Jaak Aab
 CP
 Minister of Interior  Andres Anvelt  SD
 Minister of Social Protection  Kaia Iva  PPRP
 Minister of Health and Labour  Jevgeni Ossinovski  SD
 Minister of Foreign Affairs  Sven Mikser  SD


Explanation:

The executive power of the state - the Government - is responsible to the Riigikogu (Parliament). Appointment to the office of the Prime Minister and withdrawal of the Government lies within the competence of the parliament. The Government also enjoys a stabilising guarantee - the right to dismiss the Riigikogu with the consent of the President and call new elections if the Riigikogu expresses no confidence in the Government.

The Government (cabinet) consists of the Prime Minister and Ministers.

The Constitution defines the areas of responsibility of the Government as the following:

  • implementation of domestic and foreign policies;
  • direction and co-ordination of the work of government institutions;
  • organisation and implementation legislation, the resolutions of the Riigikogu and edicts of the President;
  • submitting of bills and international treaties to the Riigikogu;
  • preparation of drafts of the state budget;
  • implementation of, and reporting on, the budget;
  • management of relations with foreign states.

How the government is appointed

The President nominates the Prime Minister who then forms a Government. If the President's candidate(s) fail(s) to form a Government (the Constitution permits the President two nominations), the Riigikogu will name a Prime Minister to form a government.

The Prime Minister alone nominates the ministers who are formally appointed by the President and swear an oath before the Riigikogu.

Government members do not need to be members of the Riigikogu or have any political party affiliation. However, the selection of the Prime Minister, the formation of a working Government and the success of a legislative programme depend on co-operation with Parliament.

A Government can resign due to any of three reasons: the death or resignation of the Prime Minister, a vote of no-confidence by the Riigikogu in the Government, or the election of a new parliament.

The national elections, since the re-establishment of independence, were held on 20th of September 1992, on 5th of March 1995, on 7th of March 1999, on 2nd of March 2003, on 4th of March 2007,  6th of March 2011, and on 1st of March 2015. The next regular elections will take place in 2019.


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