Suffrage Universel
le droit de vote des étrangers

Le droit de vote des étrangers en Estonie

La résidence exigée pour le droit de vote local est de cinq ans sur le territoire de l'entité locale où le droit de vote sera exercé. Les non-Estoniens ne sont pas éligibles. Il est toutefois prévu que, sous condition de connaissance de la langue estonienne, les ressortissants de l'Union Européenne deviennent éligibles une fois ce pays intégré à l'UE: la législation devra être adaptée avec l'entrée prochaine dans l'Union Européenne, en ce compris pour les élections européennes, peut-être déjà d'application à l'élection du Parlement européen de 2004.


RFE/RL No. 96, 21 May 1993

ESTONIA PASSES LOCAL ELECTIONS LAW. On 19 May, by a vote of 52 to 9 with 1 abstention, parliament passed a law on local elections that are scheduled for 17 October, BNS reports. Noncitizens and citizens of other countries are allowed to vote if they have been residing in the election area for the past five years, but can not run as candidates. Estonian citizens, 18 years and older, can be candidates and are allowed to vote if they have been local residents since the beginning of the year. Saulius Girnius


RFE/RL No. 152, 11 August 1993

ESTONIA EXTENDS REGISTRATION FOR LOCAL ELECTIONS. On 10 August an extraordinary session of parliament decided to extend from 12 to 20 August the deadline for registering for local municipal and regional elections on 17 October, BNS reports. State Secretary Ulo Kaevats said that extending the deadline to October, as the councils of the Russian populated cities of Sillamae and Narva had requested, was rejected, since this would upset the election schedule. All permanent residents will be allowed to vote, but only Estonian citizens can run as candidates. An appeal by the councils to allow noncitizens who have lived in the election district more than 10 years was not approved. -Saulius Girnius


RFE/RL No. 163, Part II, 22 August 1996

ESTONIA'S NONCITIZENS SLOW TO REGISTER FOR ELECTIONS. Few noncitizens have enrolled for the 20 October local elections, even though registration is scheduled from 10 August to 10 September, BNS reported on 21 August. Noncitizens are eligible to vote if they are 18 or older, have applied for a residence permit, and have lived in the respective territory for at least five years. In Tallinn, only 2,448 of the estimated 77,000 eligible voters (3.2%) had registered by the evening of 20 August. The administrative secretary of Tallinn's Lansamae borough government said, "The people are apathetic and don't give a damn about the elections." The figures in Sillimae were only slightly better, as 770 of the estimated 11,120 eligible noncitizens (6.9%) registered in the first 10 days. An appeal by the Russian Party in Estonia to extend the registration period will likely be ignored, since its claim that long lines would form at registration offices has proved to be wrong. -- Saulius Girnius


Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest No. 204, Part II, 21 October 1996

EARLY RESULTS FROM ESTONIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS. Preliminary results from the 2O October local elections show the Reform Party most successful in Tallinn, with 17.8% of votes and 15 of the city council's 64 seats, ETA reported on 21 October. The Center Party won 18.1% of the votes in Tallinn but only 12 council seats, while the Tallinn coalition that includes the ruling Coalition Party won 12 seats, the Russian Party in Estonia won 11, the Pro Patria Union and Moderates coalition won 9, and the United Peoples of Estonia won 5. About 52% of the 882,726 eligible voters nationwide participated in the elections, in which 11,151 candidates were competing for 3,453 seats in 273 districts. Although the 70,970 noncitizens fulfilling the prior registration requirement was less than in 1993 elections, their participation rate was still higher than that of citizens. -- Saulius Girnius


Estonian Review - Volume 11 Number 19 - May 07 12, 2001

Law to Allow EU Citizens into Estonian Local Councils

May 9 - A draft for a new law on local elections allows citizens of the European Union who reside permanently in Estonia to run for seats on local councils on equal terms with Estonian citizens.

Probably already in the 2005 local elections a Tallinner carrying a Finnish or a Spanish passport will be able to run for election, provided his command of the Estonian language is up to requirements. In the next local polls in fall 2002, however, aliens will not yet be allowed to seek election here as the relevant provisions won't take effect until Estonia is a full member of the European Union. According to data of the Citizenship and Migration Department, as of the start of this month 218 EU citizens held Estonian permanent residence permits. Alo Heinsalu, director of the parliament offices who heads an election laws work group at the Justice Ministry, said: "It is not required that only members of parties be included in party lists for election." The right of EU countries' citizens to vote and be elected in other countries' local polls is laid down in the founding agreement of the European Communities and the EU directive 94/80. Estonia already lets all non-citizens residing here permanently vote in local elections, but only citizens can run for election so far.

Baltic States Report 20 June 2003, Volume 4, Number 20

The Estonian Union of Russian Citizens, an organization not officially registered in Estonia, held a congress in Tallinn on 7 June which passed a resolution calling for a law which would allow all permanent residents of Estonia to participate in the EU membership referendum, BNS reported. Arguing that noncitizens pay the same taxes as citizens, the congress declared that it was unfair to allow only citizens to vote in the referendum. It also approved an appeal to the European Commission and the OSCE calling on them to pressure Estonia to establish more democratic conditions for acquiring citizenship and to join the Convention for Eliminating Statelessness. There are around 175,000 Russian citizens residing in Estonia.


Suffrage Universel
le droit de vote des étrangers