Estonian National Independence Party

​(Estonian abbreviation ERSP)

The first non-communist political party in Soviet Estonia, essentially the first party in newly independent Estonia.

The predecessor of the ERSP was the Estonian Group on Publication of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (Estonian abbreviation MRP-AEG). On 23 August 1987 they organised the first mass demonstration in Hirvepark in Tallinn, demanding that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols should be made public and then overturned.

On 21 January 1988, a proposal to "establish the Estonian National Independence Party (ERSP)" was announced, signed by 14 people. The programme demands included affording the Estonian language the status of the official language in Soviet Estonia, establishing separate citizenship for Soviet Estonia from the Soviet Union citizenship, limiting immigration from other Soviet republics, putting an end to the planned economy, guaranteeing human rights, reorganising the military service system in the Soviet Union, etc.

The founding meeting of ERSP took place on 20 August 1988 in a small settlement in central Estonia called Pilistvere. The former political prisoner chairman Lagle Parek was appointed chairman. The aim of the party was to restore the independence of occupied and annexed Estonia.

On 24 February 1989, the ERSP, along with the Estonian Heritage Society and Estonian Christian Union, initiated the movement of Estonian Citizens’ Committees, which culminated in the elections to the Estonian Congress in February 1990.

At the first parliamentary elections of the newly independent (1991) Republic of Estonia in 1992, ERSP got 10 seats and joined the government coalition. In December 1995 ERSP joined the Pro Patria party, and together they formed the Pro Patria Union.

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