According to the Constitution, Estonia is an independent and sovereign democratic republic wherein the supreme power of the state is vested in the people. The people exercise their supreme power through elections of the Estonian parliament - Riigikogu. The Riigikogu has 101 members elected for a period of four years.
The head of state is the President, elected by the Riigikogu for a five-year term. The President has, in addition to symbolic functions, representational tasks and formal domestic duties, a string of rights and obligations that afford him the independent right to speak in political life. Toomas-Hendrik Ilves, the current President of Estonia was elected by an electoral college on 23 September 2006 and was inaugurated on 9 October 2006.
The government carries out the country’s domestic and foreign policy which is shaped by the parliament; it directs and co-ordinates the work of government institutions and bears full responsibility for everything occurring within the authority of executive power. The government, headed by the Prime Minister, thus represents the political leadership of the country and makes decisions in the name of the whole executive power. The head of the Government, the Prime Minister, is appointed by the President and approved by the Riigikogu.
Estonia also has 6 representatives in the European Union Parliament.
Find out more about the Estonian state from Estonica, the Encyclopedia about Estonia.