Estonian Constituent Assembly


Estonian Constituent Assembly

The Estonian Constituent Assembly ( _et. Asutav kogu) was elected on 5-7 April 1919, [http://www.riigikogu.ee/?id=34582&langchange=1 Chronology at riigikogu.ee] ] called by the Estonian Provisional Government during the Estonian War of Independence. The Assembly was elected by proportional representation. Eligible voters included soldiers at the front. The elections were won by Left and Center parties: [http://books.google.com/books?id=XKWRct15XfkC&pg Historical Dictionary of Estonia; p. 140 ISBN 0810849046] ]

The 120 members of the Constituent Assembly met at the opening session on April 23, 1919, the birthday of the Estonian Parliament and elected the chairman, Social Democrat August Rei. On May 7 the Assembly passed the Public Elementary Schools Act: The principle of compulsory and free primary 6-year elementary school education was established. [ [http://www.eha.ee/english/exhibitions.htm Public Elementary Schools Act at Estonian Historical Archives] ] On May 9, 1919 the Estonian provisional government resigned, and the first fully democratically elected Government of Estonia headed by Prime Minister Otto Strandman (Estonian Labor Party) took office. On May 15 the assembly reaffirmed the Estonian Declaration of Independence, aimed at the international community for recognizing Estonia as an independent state. On June 4, 1919 the assembly adopted a temporary Constitution of Estonia. On October 10, 1919 The Land Reform Act was passed which confiscated and redistributed the Baltic German estates, ending the 700 years possession of the regions that the Germans had gained after the Livonian Crusade. [ [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Esthonia Encyclopædia Britannica 11th edition] ] On February 13 the Peace Treaty of Tartu was ratified, signed by Estonia and Russian SFSR on February 2. The first Constitution of Estonia was adopted on June 15, 1920. After the constitution had entered into effect and the first parliamentary elections were held, the Constituent Assembly disbanded itself on December 20, 1920.

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