Rein Toomla

Rein Toomla

Teacher, Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu



  • Elections of the Riigikogu – Some Generalisations

    05 June 2019


    RiTo No. 39, 2019

    Since the first constitutional elections in 1992, the number of political parties in the Riigikogu has shown a relatively clear trend towards decrease – of nine political parties in 1992, five have remained in 2019.

  • Voter turnout, particularly in merged local governments

    07 December 2017


    RiTo No. 36, 2017

    The administrative-territorial reform of 2017 was the most thorough one ever in the history of the Republic of Estonia. The number of local municipalities decreased by nearly three times – from 213 to 79. As a result of that, 50 new local municipalities were formed which consisted of at least two, and in the most extreme case, seven, old local municipalities. Elections in the neighbouring countries of Estonia – specifically in Finland and Latvia – have shown that voter turnout tends to fall in merged local municipalities. In the debates before the elections, that was thought to happen in Estonia, too – the reason being the potential disappointment of the electorate when the state clearly prefers quantitative indicators when organising the administrative-territorial reform. In the Government’s opinion, a rural municipality or city with at least 5000 residents is a viable local municipality.

  • Presidential elections – Expectations and reality

    14 December 2016


    RiTo No. 34, 2016

    In 2016, the President of Estonia was for the first time elected at extraordinary elections. 25 years ago the authors of the Constitution of Estonia were convinced that they had managed to develop a mechanism pursuant to which the political parties have to cooperate as effectively as they can in order that the candidate would win the support of two thirds of the members of the parliament at the elections in the Riigikogu. If the political parties fail to achieve that, the elections would transfer to the electoral college, a body specially formed for the purpose of electing the President, where the required quota would be smaller, only the majority of the electoral college members who participated in voting. Namely this low quota required in the electoral college gave the authors of the Constitution the assurance that the President would be elected during the regular elections.

  • Local Coalitions – Synchronism with the Government Coalition

    19 December 2013


    RiTo No. 28, 2013

    From time to time, our political press asks whether it makes sense that the government coalition in Toompea is formed by one set of political parties, while the local power is in the hands of a completely different set. Sometimes this difference can be presented as an almost tragic opposition, as a couple of parties did at the last, 2013 local elections in Tallinn.

  • Who Does Not Vote? A Comparative Survey of Three Riigikogu Elections

    The article deals with the part of electorate that did not attend the elections.

  • The problem of proportionality in elections in Tallinn

    17 December 2009


    RiTo No. 20, 2009

    The writer recalls that in late 2008, the Riigikogu began discussing possible amendment of the Local Government Council Election Act.

  • Riigikogu elections – in comparison with the world and neighbours

    Since restoration of independence, Estonia has had five general elections. This article analyzes the results of these elections and compares them to parliamentary elections held by three of Estonia’s closest neighbours – Finland, Sweden and Latvia.

  • Motives and Mechanisms for the Estonian Electorate

    11 June 2003


    RiTo No. 7, 2003

    Much data has been gathered to understand the political preference of the electorate in Estonia. But what good are data if they are not put to use to further develop and modernize politicians' and officials' knowledge?