New constitution is passed

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On the February 23-25, 1936, a referendum was held, where Päts's government's current actions were approved, and it was decided to summon the Estonian People's Assembly, that would give Estonia a new constitution. The opposition hoped that with those actions the democratic power would be at least partly restored, but they were dissapointed. Therefore, the previous Heads of State - Tõnisson, Teemant, Piip and Kukk, wrote a letter where they protested against the restrictions on the freedom of speech and other citizen's rights and demanded the restoration of democracy. The government, however, ignored it.

On February 18, 1937, the Estonian People's Assembly, despite the opposition's boycott, assembled. On July 28, constitution, leaning heavily to presidential system, was accepted. It had been formed by the politicians of the Pro Patria Union, with an important role played by Jüri Uluots. A presidential institution was created and the parliament was divided into two chambers. Any public initiative was prohibited and the citizen's rights were partly restricted. As expected, Konstantin Päts was elected as President in May 1938 and the Prime Minister's place was filled by its previous substitute Kaarel Eenpalu. The martial law and authoritarian rule continued.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005, lk-d 97-99.

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