Andrus Ansip

Andrus Ansip

Infobox_Prime Minister
name = Andrus Ansip

order = Prime Minister of Estonia
president = Arnold Rüütel
Toomas Hendrik Ilves
deputy =
term_start = 12 April 2005
term_end =
predecessor = Juhan Parts
successor =
birth_date = Birth date and age|1956|10|01|df=y
birth_place = Tartu, Estonian SSR, Soviet Union
death_date =
death_place =
party = ER
alma_mater = University of Tartu
spouse = Anu Ansip
religion =

Andrus Ansip (born 1 October 1956) is the current Prime Minister of Estonia, and chairman of the Estonian Reform Party ( _et. Reformierakond).

Early life and career

Born in Tartu, Ansip graduated from the University of Tartu with a degree in Chemistry in 1979. He worked as engineer in Tartu State University in 1979-1983 (with 2-year break for mandatory military service). He was Instructor of Industry Department and Head of Organisational Department of Tartu District Committee of Estonian Communist Party in 1986-1988The Government of the Republic of Estonia: [ Andrus Ansip, Prime Minister] ] . Ansip has been involved in several banking and investment ventures. He has served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the People’s Bank of Tartu ( _et. Rahvapank), Chairman of the Board of Livonia Privatisation IF, and CEO of Investment Fund Broker Ltd ( _et. Fondiinvesteeringu Maakler AS). He also has served as Chairman of the board for Radio Tartu.

Mayor of Tartu

In 1998, Ansip was elected as Mayor of Tartu as a candidate of the centrist-right "Reformierakond" (Reform Party), a position which he held until 2004, to great popular acclaim and very high ratings in the opinion polls. He had run in previous elections for the "Riigikogu", the Estonian Parliament, but had always given up his seat in order to stay Mayor. He was succeeded by fellow Reform Party member Laine Jänes.

Chairman of "Reformierakond" and Minister of Economics

However, on November 21, 2004, Ansip became Chairman of "Reformierakond" because the party's founder and hitherto chairman, former Prime Minister Siim Kallas, had become EU Commissioner and Vice President and thus had to move to Brussels. It was obvious that Ansip would have to move to Tallinn, and a chance opened up when the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications in the coalition government of Juhan Parts, Meelis Atonen, a party colleague, had to resign. Ansip became his successor on September 13. His track record as Minister is more difficult to evaluate because of the short duration of his service.

Prime Minister

On March 31 2005, Ansip was charged by President Arnold Rüütel to form a government, following the 24 March 2005 resignation by Prime Minister Juhan Parts. Ansip was able to form a coalition with "Keskerakond" ("Center Party", populist) and "Rahvaliit" ("Peoples' Party", rural), which was approved by the Riigikogu on April 12 2005. Ansip thus became Prime Minister of Estonia (see Andrus Ansip's cabinet). He was backed by 53 out of 101 members of the Estonian parliament; forty deputies voting against. He and the ministers were inaugurated in office the next day, on April 13.

On March 4 2007, Ansip's Reform Party won 27 percent of the vote in the Estonian parliamentary elections, raising its mandate in the Riigikogu to 31 seats from 19. Ansip personally received over 22,500 votes, the highest ever by any parliamentary candidate in the history of independent Estonia. He was again charged by President, this time Toomas Hendrik Ilves, to form a government. This time he formed a coalition with "Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit" ("Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica", liberal conservative) and "Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond" (Social Democratic Party). His second term as Prime Minister began on April 5 2007.

The Cabinet

The new cabinet, approved by the "Riigikogu" on 5 April 2007, was as follows:


*Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
*Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet (held this position previously; former Minister of Culture; journalist)
*Minister of Justice Rein Lang (held this position previously; former Minister of Foreign Affairs)
*Minister of Culture Laine Jänes (former Mayor of Tartu)
*Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi (former mayor of Kuressaare)
*Minister of Social Affairs Maret Maripuu (former Vice-Speaker of Riigikogu; former Chairman of Tallinn City Council)

"Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit"

*Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts (former Prime Minister)
*Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas (held this position formerly from 1999-2002)
*Minister of Defence Jaak Aaviksoo (former Minister of Education, former rector of Tartu University)
*Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder
*Minister of Regional Affairs Siim-Valmar Kiisler

"Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond"

*Minister of Finance Ivari Padar (former Minister of Agriculture)
*Minister of Internal Affairs Jüri Pihl
*Minister of Population and Ethnic Affairs Urve Palo

The birth of Ansip's second government

It was widely speculated that Ansip's party would continue co-operation with the Centre Party after the 2007 elections, but decided to form a more right-wing government instead. There was a period of tension during the coalition talks, as both Ansip's "Reformierakond" and "Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit" wanted the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs; Reformierakond to Urmas Paet, who held the position previously and had become one of the most popular members of Ansip's previous cabinet, and "Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit", most likely to two-time former Prime Minister and leader of the party, Mart Laar. The dispute ended with "Reformierakond" keeping the post and Laar refusing to become a member of Ansip's cabinet at any other position. This move by Ansip has been criticized both in domestic and foreign press, notably in The Economist [ [ "Floreat Estonia"] , The Economist, The Economist Group, 2007-04-05. Retrieved on April 8 2007 [] ] , which wrote of it as an act of "jealousy".

Relocation of the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn

One of the most controversial actions of Ansip's government was relocation of the main Tallinn World War II memorial known as the "Bronze Soldier of Tallinn" from a prominent location in the center of Tallinn to the Defence Forces Cemetery of Tallinn adjacent to the city center. The removal of the monument, as well as war graves, from its current location on April 27 2007 led to mass protests and two nights of the worst rioting Estonia has seen since gaining independence. [ Fresh clashes over Estonia statue] BBC] [ Olukord tänavatel on rahulik] et icon]


* On July 31, 2007 Ansip was recognized for "his service in fight for Estonian freedom and Estonian national idea" by [ Estonian Central Council in Canada] . [ [ EV Peaminister Toronto Eesti Majas] ]
* Estonian Newspaper Association named Ansip Press Enemy of 2007. [ [ Pressisõber on Juhan Kivirähk ja pressivaenlane Andrus Ansip] ]


External links

* [ Official biography for Andrus Ansip]
* [ Estonian Reform Party]

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