Estonian politician, historian and MP Mart Nutt died unexpectedly on Sunday; he was 57 years old. A member of Isamaa, Nutt had served as MP in every Riigikogu elected since Estonia regained its independence in 1991.
“Estonian politician, historian and Estonia’s longest-serving MP Mart Nutt passed away following an unexpected medical emergency this morning,” Isamaa politician Mart Luik told the press on Sunday.
Nutt graduated from Tallinn 10th Upper Secondary School in 1985 and from University of Tartu in 1985, having majored in history and ethnography. He completed postgraduate studies at the University of Tartu in 1988.
On Dec. 16, 2011, he defended his doctoral thesis, “Development of the competence of the Estonian Parliament and its application in foreign relations,” at Tallinn University of Technology (Taltech).
“Mart Nutt was a conservative in the best sense of the word,” Luik said. “He supported well thought-out and consistent policy and for decades was a leading supporter of representative democracy. He believed in people’s freedom, and via the Estonian Institute of Human Rights and international organizations contributed to the promotion of human rights on the international level as well.”
In 1989, Nutt was among the founders of the independent youth union Res Publica, which can be considered Estonia’s first right-wing think tank. In 1990, however, he was one of several like-minded people to establish the Republicans’ Coalition Party, which in turn joined forces with other right-wing parties to form the Isamaa election coalition. Nutt had been a member of the Isamaa party since its establishment.
Nutt served as a member of each Riigikogu to be elected following the restoration of Estonian independence, beginning with the VII Riigikogu in 1992.
He was awarded with the Order of the National Coat of Arms, 5th Class, in 2001 and the Order of the National Coat of Arms, 2nd Class, in 2018 in recognition of his contributions to the development of the Estonian state, democracy and Estonia’s security.
Nutt was also a reserve officer as well as a member of the volunteer Estonian Defence League. He was also a leader within the Estonian Institute of Human Rights.
Isamaa sends its condolences to Aet Kukk and Nutt’s father.
“We have suffered a major loss,” Isamaa chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder said. “Mart Nutt was one of the founders of Estonia’s parliamentary democracy as well as Isamaa. Several aspects of the organization of the reindependent Estonian state have Mart Nutt’s fingerprints all over them, and we will be eternally grateful to him for these contributions. Rest in peace, dear friend!”