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Estonia Government
Capital:
Tallinn
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Estonia
conventional short form: Estonia
local short form: Eesti
former: Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic
local long form: Eesti Vabariik
Government type:
parliamentary republic
Administrative divisions:
15 counties (maakonnad, singular - maakond): Harjumaa (Tallinn), Hiiumaa (Kardla), Ida-Virumaa (Johvi), Jarvamaa (Paide), Jogevamaa (Jogeva), Laanemaa (Haapsalu), Laane-Virumaa (Rakvere), Parnumaa (Parnu), Polvamaa (Polva), Raplamaa (Rapla), Saaremaa (Kuressaare), Tartumaa (Tartu), Valgamaa (Valga), Viljandimaa (Viljandi), Vorumaa (Voru)
note: counties have the administrative center name following in parentheses
Independence:
regained on 20 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 24 February (1918); note - 24 February 1918 is the date Estonia declared its independence from Soviet Russia; 20 August 1991 is the date it declared its independence from the Soviet Union
Constitution:
adopted 28 June 1992
Legal system:
based on civil law system; no judicial review of legislative acts
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal for all Estonian citizens
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Arnold RUUTEL (since 8 October 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Juhan PARTS (since 10 April 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, approved by Parliament
election results: Arnold RUUTEL elected president on 21 September 2001 by a 367-member electoral assembly that convened following Parliament's failure in August to elect then-President MERI's successor; on the second ballot of voting, RUUTEL received 188 votes to Parliament Speaker Toomas SAVI's 155; the remaining 24 ballots were either left blank or invalid
elections: president elected by Parliament for a five-year term; if he or she does not secure two-thirds of the votes after three rounds of balloting in the Parliament, then an electoral assembly (made up of Parliament plus members of local governments) elects the president, choosing between the two candidates with the largest percentage of votes; election last held 21 September 2001 (next to be held in the fall of 2006); prime minister nominated by the president and approved by Parliament
Legislative branch:
unicameral Parliament or Riigikogu (101 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
election results: percent of vote by party - Center Party 25.4%, Res Publica 24.6%, Reform Party 17.7%, Estonian People's Union 13%, Pro Patria Union (Fatherland League) 7.3% People's Party Moodukad 7%; seats by party - Center Party 28, Res Publica 28, Reform Party 19, Estonian People's Union 13, Pro Patria Union 7, People's Party Moodukad 6
elections: last held 2 March 2003 (next to be held NA March 2007)
Judicial branch:
National Court (chairman appointed by Parliament for life)
Political parties and leaders:
Center Party of Estonia (Keskerakond) [Edgar SAVISAAR, chairman]; Estonian People's Union (Rahvaliit) [Villu REILJAN]; Estonian Reform Party (Reformierakond) [Siim KALLAS]; Estonian United Russian People's Party or EUVRP [Yevgeniy TOMBERG, chairman]; Pro Patria Union (Isamaaliit) [Tunne KELAM, chairman]; Res Publica [Juhan PARTS]; Russian Baltic Party [Sergei IVANOV]; Social Democratic Party (formerly People's Party Moodukad) [Ivari PADAR, chairman]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
BIS, CBSS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EU (new member), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Juri LUIK
chancery: 2131 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
consulate(s) general: New York
FAX: [1] (202) 588-0108
telephone: [1] (202) 588-0101
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph M. DeTHOMAS
embassy: Kentmanni 20, 15099 Tallinn
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [372] 668-8100
FAX: [372] 668-8134
Flag description:
pre-1940 flag restored by supreme soviet in may 1990 - three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), black, and white
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