First referendum on the draft Constitution

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13. August 1932

On 13-15 August 1932, the pan-Estonian referendum on the fourth draft Constitution of the Riigikogu took place. As the propaganda was clearly weaker than the anti-propaganda of socialists and participants in the Estonian War of Independence, the draft failed with an extremely small majority (51.1%).

This was a bad surprise for both farmers and the Central Party. On 3 October, Einbund's government stepped back. Another government crisis started, lasting for 29 days. In the end, on 1 November, Konstantin Päts managed to establish a trust government that relied on the personal trust of the State Elder in his ministers that he elected regardless of their membership in political parties.

On 25 November, the Riigikogu adopted a Government Act, allowing the government to keep the budget and the exchange rate of the kroon in balance with extraordinary measures and fight against unemployment and the rising cost of living. On 10 November 1932, the participants in the Estonian War of Independence submitted their project for the draft Constitution, but the Riigikogu decided to introduce the draft project submitted by the Central Party on 23 November to the legislative proceeding.

The new draft of the fifth Riigikogu was completed by the end of December and was decided to be submitted to a referendum in June 1933. The draft raised the number of members in the Riigikogu back to a hundred and also made cuts in the future head of state's absolute power.

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


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