Reform Party Conflicted Over Whether to Hold New Internal Election ({{commentsTotal}})

MP Kaja Kallas
MP Kaja Kallas Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Kaja Kallas, a deputy chair for the Reform Party, is the highest ranking party member to come out in support of holding new internal leadership elections, following revelations of vote rigging in May.

The leadership, along with Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, has so far resisted calls for a redo after MEP Kristiina Ojuland was thrown out of the party as the suspected culprit.

"There are arguments for and against it, but since there are so many fraudulent votes, I am leaning toward supporting a new election,” Kallas told Postimees, adding that the party's internal electronic voting system must first be overhauled and made to use wholly ID-based voting. Previously, the internal system permitted voting through other means such as Facebook.

Minister of Culture Rein Lang and Foreign Minister Urmas Paet have been among those who say there is no need for a new election. The violations have been minor and the current 14-member leadership is legitimate, they say.

The party says it has so far discovered 70 cases of fraud - around 5 percent of all of the votes. Three voting district managers have been implicated.

Another party member, Hannes Astok, called the problem systemic and said that the e-voting system should be audited, adding that the audit result could be “ugly,” reported Postimees.