The Parliament

Chapter IV The Parliament

Article 59: Legislative Power

Legislative power shall rest with the Parliament.

Article 60: Membership

1. The Parliament shall be comprised of one hundred and one members. Members of the Parliament shall be elected in free elections on the principle of proportionality. Elections shall be general, uniform and direct. Voting shall be secret.

2. Every citizen entitled to vote who has attained 21 years of age may be a candidate for the Parliament.

3. Regular elections to the Parliament shall be held on the first Sunday in March every fourth year following the year of previous elections to the Parliament.

4. Early elections to the Parliament shall be held, in the cases prescribed by Articles 89, 97, 105 and 119, no earlier than twenty, and no later than forty days after elections have been declared.

5. The procedures for the election of the Parliament shall be determined by the Law On the Parliament Elections.

Article 61: Constitution

1. The authority of the members of the Parliament shall commence on the day the results of the elections have been announced. The authority of the previous complement of the Parliament shall cease from that same day.

2. Before beginning to fulfill his or her duties, a member of the Parliament shall take an oath of office affirming his or her loyalty to the Republic of Estonia and its constitutional system.

Article 62: Free Mandate

A member of the Parliament shall not be tied to his or her mandate, nor be held legally responsible for his or her votes or political statements which he or she has made in the Parliament or any of its bodies.

Article 63: Incompatibility

1. A member of the Parliament may not hold any other public office.

2. A member of the Parliament shall be released from the responsibility to serve in the defense forces for the duration of his or her term.

Article 64: Suspension, Termination

1. The authority of a member of the Parliament shall be suspended on his or her appointment as a member of the Government of the Republic, and shall be restored on his or her being released from the duties as a member of government.

2. The authority of a member of the Parliament shall be prematurely terminated:
  1. on he or she assuming another public office;
  2. on a guilty verdict by a court against him or her entering into force;
  3. on he or she resigning in accordance with procedures determined by law;
  4. if the National Court has pronounced him or her to be permanently incapable of fulfilling his or her duties; on his or her death.
  5. When the authority of a member of the Parliament has been suspended or prematurely terminated, an alternate member shall assume his or her seat, in accordance with procedures determined by law. The alternate member shall have all the rights and duties of a member of the Parliament.
  6. The authority of an alternate member shall cease when a member of the Parliament resumes his or her authority.

Article 65: Functions

1. The Parliament shall:
  1. adopt laws and resolutions;
  2. decide on the conducting of referendum;
  3. elect the President of the Republic in accordance with Article 79;
  4. ratify and denounce foreign treaties in accordance with Article 121;
  5. authorize the candidate for Prime Minister to form the Government of the Republic;
  6. adopt the national budget and approve the report on its execution;
  7. appoint, on proposal by the President of the Republic, the Chairman of the National Court, the Chairman of the Council of the Bank of Estonia, the Auditor-General, the Legal Chancellor, and the Commander or Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Forces;
  8. appoint, on proposal by the Chairman of the National Court, judges for the National Court;
  9. appoint members of the Council of the Bank of Estonia;
  10. decide, on proposal by the Government, on the issue of Government loans and the undertaking of other financial obligations by the state;
  11. present statements, declarations and appeals to the Estonian people, foreign states and international organizations;
  12. establish national orders of merit and military and diplomatic ranks;
  13. decide on votes of no-confidence in the Government of the Republic, the Prime Minister or individual ministers;
  14. declare a state of emergency in the nation in accordance with Article 129;
  15. on proposal by the President of the Republic declare a state of war, order mobilization and demobilization;
  16. resolve all issues of government which, according to the Constitution, are not to be resolved by the President of the Republic, the Government of the Republic, other state bodies or local government.
Article 66: First Session

The first session of the complement of the new Parliament shall take place within ten days of the announcement of the results of the Parliament elections. The first session shall be convened by the President of the Republic.

Article 67: Regular Sessions

Regular sessions of the Parliament shall take place from the second Monday of January to the third Thursday of June, and from the second Monday of September to the third Thursday of December.

Article 68: Extraordinary Sessions

Extraordinary sessions of the Parliament shall be convened by the Speaker of the Parliament, on the demand of the President of the Republic, the Government of the Republic or at least one fifth of the complement of the Parliament.

Article 69: Speaker

The Parliament shall elect from among its members the Chairman of the Parliament Speaker) and two Deputy Chairmen Deputy Speakers), who shall direct the work of the Parliament, in accordance with the Law On the Parliament By-Laws and the Law On the Parliament Proceedings.

Article 70: Quorum

The quorum for the Parliament shall be determined by the Law On the Parliament By-Laws. In an extraordinary session, the Parliament shall have a quorum when over half of its complement is present.

Article 71:Committees, Factions

1. The Parliament shall establish committees.

2. Members of the Parliament shall have the right to form factions.

3. Procedures for establishing committees and factions, and their powers, shall be determined by the Law On the Parliament By-Laws.

Article 72: Publicity

1. Parliament sessions shall be public, unless the Parliament, by a majority of two-thirds, decides otherwise.

2. Voting in the Parliament shall be public. Voting by secret ballot shall only be held in cases prescribed by the Constitution or the Parliament By-Laws in matters concerning the election or appointment of officials.

Article 73: Majority

Legal acts of the Parliament shall be adopted with a majority of yes-votes, unless otherwise prescribed by the Constitution.

Article 74:Questioning Government

1. Members of the Parliament shall have the right to request explanations from the Government of the Republic and its members, the Chairman of the Council of the Bank of Estonia, the President of the Bank of Estonia, the Auditor-General, the Legal Chancellor, and the Commander or Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Forces.

2. Requests for explanations must be answered at a session of the Parliament within twenty session days.

Article 75: Remuneration

The remuneration of members of the Parliament and restrictions on other income shall be determined by law, which may be amended for the next complement of the Parliament.

Article 76: Immunity

A member of the Parliament enjoys immunity. Criminal charges can only be brought against him or her on proposal by the Legal Chancellor and with the consent of the majority of the complement of the Parliament.