In June 1988 Communist Party of Estonia (EKP), i.e. the Estonian branch of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, chief Karl Vaino was replaced by the reform-minded Soviet Ambassador to Nicaragua Vaino Väljas, the former ideological secretary of the EKP. Some of the Estonian members declared that they were fighting for Estonian national interests and tried to contribute to the solving of Estonian problems.
- 1990 was registered the independent Estonian Communist Party (EKP)
- 1992 the congress of EKP renamed party to the Estonian Democratic Labour Party (EDTP).
- July 1995 EDLP joined with New European Left Forum
- 1997 the party was renamed the Estonian Social Democratic Labour Party (ESDTP).
- 2004 ESDTP is a founding member of European Left party.
- December 2004 Estonian Social Democratic Labour Party changed the name to Estonian Left Party (EVP).
According to the statutes of party the party congress elects the Party Chairman and Executive board as well as nominates a consultative Central Council representing all regional organizations. Local policies are developed by local organizations, while central bodies formulate national policies.
The party has been chaired by:
- Vaino Väljas (1992-1995)
- Hillar Eller (1995-1996)
- Tiit Toomsalu (1996-2004)
- Sirje Kingsepp (2004-2007)