Parliament Paves Way for More Colorful Political Scene
Parliament today passed amendments to the Political Parties Act which will open the gates to smaller political forces, delighting grass-roots initiatives such as the People's Assembly and NGO Free Patriotic Citizen.
The focal point is the number of members needed to crate a political party, and thus to run in elections and qualify for state financial support. That number has now been halved to 500, which is especially good news for Andres Herkel, who recently announced plans to found a new party on the basis of 300-strong Free Patriotic Citizen and another NGO, A Better Estonia, which maintains no registered members.
State payments to political parties which do not beat election thresholds - 5 percent at the next general election - will also increase at the expense of those that are elected to representative bodies.