With an area of 45,000 km2 and a population of approximately 1.4 million people, Estonia is one of the smallest EU states. In the republic’s unicameral parliament, the Riigikogu, elections for the available 101 seats take place by proportional representation every four years. The president of the republic is directly elected by the parliament every fi ve years. Numerous political parties and alliances emerged or disappeared in the fi rst years of independence. By 1997 there were 32 offi cially registered parties in the republic. However, in recent years smaller parties have merged, and more lasting political alliances and parliamentary coalitions have been established. This has been aided by the institutional structure of the Estonian parliamentary system, which is heavily biased in favour of established parties. Electoral funding is only given to parties with seats in parliament, while registration procedures for new parties are complex and campaigns are costly.
KeywordsElectoral Campaign Parliamentary Election Centre Party Eligible Voter Independent Candidate
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