Right to stand as candidate

An Estonian citizen may stand as candidate for the Riigikogu, a local government council and the European Parliament. A citizen of the European Union may stand as candidate for a local government council and the European Parliament.

In order to stand as candidate, the person must comply with the relevant legal requirements. In elections to the Riigikogu and the European Parliament, a candidate must have the right to vote and be at least 21 years old, and in local government council elections, 18 years old. A person who is an active member of the Defence Forces, has been divested of their active legal capacity with regard to the right to vote and a person who has been convicted of a crime and is serving sentence in a penal institution, cannot stand as candidate. If the prison sentence has not been enforced (conditional sentence), the person may stand as candidate.

A person can stand as candidate in only one location, i.e. they may not stand as candidate simultaneously in several electoral districts or in lists of several political parties or simultaneously in the list of a political party or an electoral coalition and as an independent candidate.

The Riigikogu Election Act and the European Parliament Election Act stipulate that only a member of the relevant political party or an independent candidate may stand as candidate in the list of the political party, and a member of another political party may not. The Local Government Council Election Act sets no such restriction.