The elections of the Provincial Assembly of the Governorate Estonia and power crisis

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23. May 1917

Even though Poska wished to hurry with the elections of local governments, the Provisional Government was unable to ratify the decree on the implementation of autonomy. Due to this, on April 28, 1917, Poska announced a temporary electoral prescript for the election of local governments on May 23.

This left little time for the organizational and explanatory work, resulting in low electoral activity, which was around 28-30 %. In 40 parishes, the electoral lists were not finished in time, thus there the elections took place in the beginning of June.

During the preparation time, the Executive Committee of Tallinn Soviet demanded the postponement of the elections, but as Poska wanted to put the local governments into work as soon as possible, he refused. Therefore, on May 26, Tallinn Soviet decided to remove Jaan Poska from his place, cancel the elections and organize new ones in the beginning of June.

This decision marked the end of the cooperation between Estonian nationalists and socialist parties.

On June 5, the Executive Committee of Tallinn Soviet sent an ultimatum to the Provisional Government, where they threatened to arrest Jaan Poska, if he remained in his position. The Provisional Government answered this with a tactical move: Poska was quickly invited to Petrograd, where he stayed until the tensions had subsided. The results of the elections remained in power. In June, a conflict took place between a local soviet and the aid of the governorate commissar, Kaarel Parts, which resulted in latter's removal.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Õie Elango, Ants Ruusmann ja Karl Siilivask. Eesti maast ja rahvast: Maailmasõjast maailmasõjani. Tallinn: Olion, 1998
Eesti ajalugu: kronoloogia. Tallinn: Olion, 2007

Image source: http://heinar.webs.com/Jaan%20Poska.jpg


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