- Andrus Ansip
name = Andrus Ansip
Prime Minister of Estonia
Arnold Rüütel Toomas Hendrik Ilves
12 April 2005
birth_date = Birth date and age|1956|10|01|df=y
Tartu, Estonian SSR, Soviet Union
party = ER
University of Tartu
spouse = Anu Ansip
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
Tartu, Ansip graduated from the University of Tartuwith a degree in Chemistryin 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 Partyin 1986-1988The Government of the Republic of Estonia: [http://www.valitsus.ee/?id=6540&tpl=1007 Andrus Ansip, Prime Minister] ] . Ansip has been involved in several bankingand investmentventures. 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 CEOof Investment Fund Broker Ltd ( _et. Fondiinvesteeringu Maakler AS). He also has served as Chairman of the boardfor Radio Tartu.
Mayor of Tartu
In 1998, Ansip was elected as
Mayorof Tartuas 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
November 21, 2004, Ansip became Chairman of "Reformierakond" because the party's founder and hitherto chairman, former Prime Minister Siim Kallas, had become EUCommissioner 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.
March 31 2005, Ansip was charged by President Arnold Rüütelto form a government, following the 24 March 2005resignation 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.
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 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
*Minister of Regional Affairs
*Minister of Finance
Ivari Padar(former Minister of Agriculture)
*Minister of Internal Affairs
*Minister of Population and Ethnic Affairs
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[ [http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_RJVNGDR "Floreat Estonia"] , The Economist, The Economist Group, 2007-04-05. Retrieved on April 8 2007[http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_RJVNGDR] ] , 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 IImemorial known as the " Bronze Soldier of Tallinn" from a prominent location in the center of Tallinn to the Defence Forces Cemetery of Tallinnadjacent to the city center. The removal of the monument, as well as war graves, from its current location on April 27 2007led to mass protests and two nights of the worst rioting Estonia has seen since gaining independence. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6602171.stm Fresh clashes over Estonia statue] BBC] [http://www.epl.ee/artikkel/383785 Olukord tänavatel on rahulik] et icon]
July 31, 2007Ansip was recognized for "his service in fight for Estonian freedom and Estonian national idea" by [http://www.ekn.ca Estonian Central Council in Canada] . [ [http://www.eesti.ca/main.php?op=article&articleid=17063 EV Peaminister Toronto Eesti Majas] ]
Estonian Newspaper Associationnamed Ansip Press Enemy of 2007. [ [http://www.eall.ee/uudised/2007/05_12_07.html Pressisõber on Juhan Kivirähk ja pressivaenlane Andrus Ansip] ]
* [http://www.valitsus.ee/?id=6540&tpl=1007 Official biography for Andrus Ansip]
* [http://www.reform.ee Estonian Reform Party]
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