EESTI
Officially: Eesti Vabariik.
English: Estonia.
Seat of government: Tallinn.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The parliament (Riigikogu) is elected through geographical constituencies modified by proportional representation, and chooses the prime minister.
Governing parties: Eesti Reformierakond; Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond; Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit.
Heads of government: Taavi Rõivas, RE, prime minister; Toomas Hendrik Ilves, SDE, president.
Other parliamentary parties: Eesti Keskerakond, led by Edgar Savisaar; Eesti Vabaerakond; Eesti Konservatiivne Rahvaerakond.
Other significant parties: Erakond Eestimaa Rohelised.
Assessment: The most successful of the Baltics in transitioning. Reformierakond was leading a government under Siim Kallas (2002-3) with Keskerakond. KE won a plurality of the popular vote in 2003 elections, but tied with the new Res Publica for seats; then-president Arnold Rüütel (2001-6) chose Juhan Parts of Res Publica to form a coalition, and he did so with RE and Rahvaliit (a precursor to EKRE). Parts lost a vote of no confidence in 2005. Rüütel then turned to Andrus Ansip of RE, who formed a coalition with KE and Rahvaliit. In 2007 elections RE won a slight edge over KE; Ansip formed a new government with IRL and SDE. In 2009 SDE was removed from the governing coalition; RE and IRL continued with just under a majority in parliament. In a 2011 parliamentary election, RE and IRL together won a slight majority of seats; Ansip finally resigned in 2014, replaced by Rõivas of RE, who formed a coalition with SDE. Both parties lost seats in the 2015 parliamentary election, and IRL was brought into the government.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 7.68 (37), flawed democracy.
Updated: 2015 April 26.
 

O.T. FORD