Prime Minister Juhan Parts (search) handed in his and his government's resignation to the president Thursday, as political parties prepared for talks to form Estonia's (search) fourth government in six years.

Parts announced his surprise resignation Monday after lawmakers passed a no-confidence vote against his justice minister.

Government spokesman Erki Peegel said Parts met President Arnold Ruutel (search) before noon and handed in the resignation of his Cabinet, which has been in power since April 2003.