Constituent Assembly

​The first parliament of free Estonia that determined the future administrative order of the Republic of Estonia

The elections to the Estonian Constituent Assembly took place on 5–7 April 1919. The turnout was remarkable – about 80% of the eligible voters took part. The elections were democratic, i.e. there were no restrictions regarding people’s wealth, social status or gender. About two thirds of the 120 seats of the Constituent Assembly were won by the left-wing parties and only one third by the right-wing parties. The national minority parties were also represented (Baltic-Germans and Russians).

The Constituent Assembly started work on 23 April 1919. August Rei from the winning Social Democrats’ party was elected chairman.

The greatest achievements of the Constituent Assembly were the land reform in 1919 and adopting the constitution of the Republic of Estonia in 1920. As a result of the fairly radical reform, the land of the manor houses was nationalised (about 2/3 of the whole land) and divided up amongst the peasantry. The constitution stipulated that Estonia was a democratic parliamentary republic. It also granted relatively extensive freedoms to the citizens of the Republic.

In addition, the Constituent Assembly passed numerous other bills, which laid the legislative foundations for the state to operate. The Assembly held its last session on 20 December 1920. Next month, the first session of the regular parliament of the Republic of Estonia – Riigikogu – convened.

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