Chapter VI The Government of the Republic

§ 86. Executive power is vested in the Government of the Republic.

§ 87. The Government of the Republic shall:

  1. execute the domestic and foreign policies of the state;
  2. direct and co-ordinate the activities of government agencies;
  3. administer the implementation of laws, resolutions of the Riigikogu, and legislation of the President of the Republic;
  4. introduce bills, and submit international treaties to the Riigikogu for ratification and denunciation;
  5. prepare the draft of the state budget and submit it to the Riigikogu, administer the implementation of the state budget and present a report on the implementation of the state budget to the Riigikogu;
  6. issue regulations and orders on the basis of and for the implementation of law;
  7. manage relations with other states;
  8. declare an emergency throughout the state or in a part thereof, in the case of a natural disaster or a catastrophe, or to prevent the spread of an infectious disease;
  9. perform other duties which the Constitution and the laws vest in the Government of the Republic.

§ 88. The Government of the Republic shall be comprised of the Prime Minister and ministers.

§ 89. The President of the Republic shall, within fourteen days after the resignation of the Government of the Republic, designate a candidate for Prime Minister to whom the President of the Republic shall assign the task of forming a new government.

The candidate for Prime Minister shall, within fourteen days after receiving the task of forming a new government, present the bases for the formation of the forthcoming government to the Riigikogu, after which the Riigikogu shall decide, without debate and by an open vote, whether to authorise the candidate for Prime Minister to form a government.

The candidate for Prime Minister who is authorised by the Riigikogu to form a government shall, within seven days, present the membership of the government to the President of the Republic, who shall appoint the government to office within three days.

If the candidate for Prime Minister designated by the President of the Republic does not receive a majority of votes in favour from the Riigikogu, or is unable or declines to form a government, the President of the Republic has the right to present a second candidate for Prime Minister within seven days.

If the President of the Republic does not present a second candidate for Prime Minister within seven days or declines to do so, or if the second candidate is unable to obtain authority from the Riigikogu under the conditions and time restraints in paragraphs two and three of this section, or is unable or declines to form a government, then the right to nominate a candidate for Prime Minister shall transfer to the Riigikogu.

The Riigikogu shall nominate a candidate for Prime Minister who shall present the membership of a government to the President of the Republic. If the membership of a government is not presented to the President of the Republic within fourteen days after the transfer to the Riigikogu of the right to nominate a candidate for Prime Minister, the President of the Republic shall declare extraordinary elections to the Riigikogu.

§ 90. Changes to the appointed membership of the Government of the Republic shall be made by the President of the Republic, on the proposal of the Prime Minister.

§ 91. The Government shall assume office by taking an oath of office before the Riigikogu.

§ 92. The Government of the Republic shall resign upon:

  1. the convention of the new membership of the Riigikogu;
  2. the resignation or death of the Prime Minister;
  3. the expression of no confidence in the Government of the Republic or the Prime Minister by the Riigikogu.

The President of the Republic shall release the Government of the Republic from office upon the assumption of office of the new Government.

§ 93. The Prime Minister shall represent the Government of the Republic and shall direct its activities.

The Prime Minister shall appoint two ministers who have the right to substitute for the Prime Minister during his or her absence. The procedure for substitution shall be specified by the Prime Minister.

§ 94. Corresponding ministries shall be established, pursuant to law, for the administration of the areas of government.

A minister shall direct a ministry, shall manage issues within its area of government, shall issue regulations and directives on the basis and for the implementation of law, and shall perform other duties assigned to him or her on the bases of and pursuant to procedure provided by law.

If a minister is temporarily unable to perform the duties of his or her office due to illness or other hindrances, the Prime Minister shall transfer the duties of the minister to another minister for this time.

The President of the Republic may, on the proposal of the Prime Minister, appoint ministers to office who do not direct ministries.

§ 95. The State Chancellery, directed by the State Secretary, is within the Government of the Republic.

The State Secretary shall be appointed to and released from office by the Prime Minister.

The State Secretary shall participate in sessions of the Government with the right to speak.

The State Secretary, as the director of the State Chancellery, has the same rights which are granted by law to a minister in directing a ministry.

§ 96. Sessions of the Government of the Republic shall be closed, unless the Government decides otherwise.

The Government shall make its decisions on the proposal of the Prime Minister or the appropriate minister.

Government regulations shall have force if they bear the signatures of the Prime Minister, the appropriate minister and the State Secretary.

§ 97. The Riigikogu may express no confidence in the Government of the Republic, the Prime Minister, or a minister by a resolution in favour of which a majority of the membership of the Riigikogu votes.

An expression of no confidence may be initiated by not less than one-fifth of the membership of the Riigikogu by the presentation of a written motion at a session of the Riigikogu.

An expression of no confidence may be decided not earlier than on the second day after its initiation, unless the Government requires a more expeditious decision.

If no confidence is expressed in the Government or the Prime Minister, the President of the Republic may, on the proposal of the Government and within three days, declare extraordinary elections to the Riigikogu.

If no confidence is expressed in a minister, the Chairman of the Riigikogu shall notify the President of the Republic, who shall release the minister from office.

An expression of no confidence on the same ground may be initiated not earlier than three months after the previous vote of no confidence.

§ 98. The Government of the Republic may bind the passage of a bill it introduces to the Riigikogu to the issue of confidence.

Voting shall not take place earlier than on the second day after the bill is bound to the issue of confidence. If the Riigikogu does not pass the bill, the Government shall resign.

§ 99. Members of the Government of the Republic shall not hold any other state office, nor belong to the management board or supervisory board of a commercial enterprise.

§ 100. Members of the Government of the Republic may participate in sessions of the Riigikogu and of its committees with the right to speak.

§ 101. Criminal charges may be brought against a member of the Government of the Republic only on the proposal of the Legal Chancellor, and with the consent of the majority of the membership of the Riigikogu.

The authority of a member of the Government shall terminate upon the entry into force of a conviction by a court against him or her.

Compiled by: State Gazette