Party Financing Bill to Be Discussed in Parliament ({{commentsTotal}})

Tarmo Lausing, the whistleblower in the latest financing scandal to befall large parties in Estonia.
Tarmo Lausing, the whistleblower in the latest financing scandal to befall large parties in Estonia. Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Parliament will begin discussng amendments to the Political Parties Act that look to make party financing more transparent and shore up oversight of financing, establishing a complete prohibition on public funding other than the state budget appropriations that parties get under law.

Among other sources, local government budget funds are ruled out as an income source.

When making a donation, donors must provide their details to allow the party and supervisory authorities to check whether the donation is allowed.

Donations of third-party assets and brokering donations - both of these practices being at the heart of twin scandals that have hit the Reform Party and Center Party in the last two years - are prohibited under the bill.

A limit of 1,200 euros per fiscal year would also be established on cash donations from a given person.

Additionally, the bill will increase state budget funding levels for parties that failed to pass the 5 percent threshold needed to be represented in Parliament, but which do manage to garner 2 percent. The previous arrangement had been criticized by smaller parties as promoting a vicious circle.