Center Party rules change could open door to former politicians ({{commentsTotal}})

Priit Toobal and Ester Tuiksoo Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

A number of former politicians who were automatically ejected form the Center Party after being found guilty at a criminal trial, could return after the party removed the clause of automatic expulsion.

The party near-unanimously voted to retract the clause, allowing Priit Toobal and Lauri Laasi to remain in the party, after being found guilty of instigating unauthorized surveillance.

Party Chairman Edgar Savisaar himself is a suspect in a criminal case involving bribery, but Postimees has drawn up a list of former politicians who could make their way back to the party and perhaps even to politics.

Elmar Sepp and Ivo Parbus received a guilty verdict in mid-2013 and were ejected from the party. Both men served a short period in prison for bribery offenses. Both were Tallinn city officials and both told the daily that they have no plans to return.

Former agriculture minister and MP Ester Tuiksoo was thrown out of the party and the Parliament in July 2014 for accepting bribes. Although not a member of the party any more, she is still active, leading the Center Party's womens' organization KENA.

Former MP Urbo Vaarmann was also convicted of bribery and ejected from both the Parliament and the party.

Other, slightly less notable figures, include Vello Lõugas and Mati Songisepp.

Editor: J.M. Laats

Opinion digest: Our plans do not have to bend to distorted Russophobia

In a recent opinion piece in Postimees, small business-owner and Reform Party member Vootele Päi responded to criticism sparked by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' plans to attend a commemorative concert-service at the Estonian church in Saint Petersburg next month.

Kallas, Kasemets, Maasikas: EU is strong, no upside to losing the euro

Speaking on Vikerraadio's "Reporteritund" ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Siim Kallas, Keit Kasemets and Matti Maasikas agreed that despite its prblems, the EU remained strong as a union.