The XIII Riigikogu, elected in 2015, has entered its final week of business.
With the general election on Sunday, 3 March, no Riigikogu sittings will take place on the week commencing 25 February, making this week the last week of the current parliament's existence.
Just short of 40 topics, including the tax system, and analysis by justice minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) are reportedly on the Riigikogu's agenda for the final week.
Currently, six parties are represented at the 101-seat Riigikogu: the Centre Party (25 seats), the Social Democratic Party (SDE – 14 seats) and Isamaa (11 seats), who make up the coalition, and the Reform Party (30 seats), the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE- seven seats), and the Free Party (six seats), who make up the opposition, together with eight independents, nearly all of whom left the party they were elected for through the course of the current Riigikogu.
The speaker of the house is Eiki Nestor (SDE).
Some individuals stepped out of their Riigikogu spot to be replaced, usually by the person next on the list in their electoral district, due to ill health, maternity leave or promotion to a ministership (see below). Several MPs have announced they will not be returning to the Riigikogu and hence are not running for office, including Anne Sulling (Reform) and Krista Aru (Free).
Other parties currently not represented but who are running in the election include the Estonian Greens, Estonia 200 and Richness of Life (the latter two were only formed as parties in 2018 and are contesting their first ever elections).
The XIV Riigikogu and the new roster of MPs is due to convene for its first session a few days after the election – potential discussion between coalition partners mean that some of those elected will not take up their seats, if they get made government ministers (who do not sit at the Riigikogu). This works in the opposite direction too, if a minister steps down but returns to claim their Riigikogu seat, as was the case with Urve Palo (SDE) last summer. When this happens the replacement MP that sat in for them must vacate the seat.
Riigikogu terms last four years. July and August is recess time.
Editor: Andrew Whyte