Reform Goes on the Offensive Against Center, Election Watchdog Slams Ads (4)
Estonians woke up today to find front page space in major dailies reserved for Reform Party campaign advertising incorporating an image of political rival Edgar Savisaar.
While not as forward as IRL's Honecker-inspired 'shopped image of Savisaar locked in an embrace with Putin, the Reform ad alludes to the controversial comments made by Savisaar, which were perceived (unfairly or not) by some as support for Russian involvement in Ukraine.
It also tried to corner the Center Party's claimed market on well-being, inviting voters to vote for both better social security as well as national security.
The gist: "Will Estonia's interests be represented by someone who serves goals of Putin's regime? Or by people who have stood up and stand firmly for Estonian interests and security? The situation has changed. Masks have fallen."
The election watchdog Valimiste Valvurid criticized the ads much as it did IRL: "Whereas IRL, which stands for traditional family values, found the best way to mock a male opponent was to show him kissing another 'bad guy,' the Reform Party looked for the worst, most dour looking picture it could find, put it on the background of the Kremlin and added black clouds in the sky so there would be no doubt. It can't be called good or substantive communication with voters, which good election practice demands from candidates," Urmo Kübar from ngo.ee told ERR.