Reform Party mayor says pro-Michal headquarters blocked e-mail in support of Pevkur
Urmas Sukles, mayor of the West Estonian town of Haapsalu and a member of the Reform Party, claimed on Wednesday that the party’s headquarters was keeping party sections from sending letters in support of Hanno Pevkur’s candidacy for chairman to their local lists. As it turned out on Thursday, Sukles had sent the message to the wrong address.
Sukles: Party headquarters keeping people from supporting Pevkur
Sukles said that he had attempted to send such a letter to the mailing list of the party’s Lääne County section on Jan. 2, but that the e-mail had never reached the section’s members, daily Eesti Päevaleht wrote on Wednesday.
“Apparently this didn’t fit in with the line to support the candidacy of Michal,” Sukles said. Former minister of economic affairs and current chairman of the party’s parliamentary group, Kristen Michal, is known to be the current party leadership and headquarter’s preferred choice for chairman.
Sukles told daily Postimees he assumed that the mailing lists had simply been taken offline for the duration of the election. “The fight is on. If you control the information that reaches the members, you can make the corresponding moves,” Sukles said.
Secretary general: “I checked with the IT guys”
The party’s headquarters reacted by rejecting the notion completely. According to Päevaleht, Secretary General Raimo Nebokat claimed that Sukles had never sent such an e-mail. “The party’s lists are always and by default protected against commercial and other spam,” Nebokat said. “I checked with the IT guys. Sukles didn’t write to the leaders of local councils.”
Thursday: Sukles sent message to wrong address
According to Päevaleht, Sukles said on Thursday that perhaps he had really sent the email to the wrong address, as a check of the party’s servers had suggested. Still, he insisted that until his story was published in Päevaleht on Wednesday, the party’s regional lists had been down.
“This is a fact. The lists were opened again during the day,” Sukles said.
The Reform Party’s internal elections are taking place on Jan. 7, which is this Saturday. For the first time in its history party members are choosing between two candidates, after so far there had always only been a single candidate introduced by the leadership.
Michal’s supporters have suggested that there is a dirty campaign going on against their candidate that sees Pevkur illustrated as the “good guy” in the media, while attempts were being made to blacken Michal’s name by continuously referring to the party’s 2012 financing scandal, badmouthing the previous leadership’s work, and generally setting things up in a way that “good” Hanno Pevkur was trying to keep “bad” Kristen Michal from handing out cash in plastic bags.