No Sweat for Vallbaum in Vote Rigging Scandal (1)
One of the he-said, she-said conflicts in the Reform Party's vote rigging scandal is whether Lääne-Viru County Governor Einar Vallbaum had any involvement.
Regional development director Taimi Samblik had accused both MEP Kristiina Ojuland and Vallbaum of persuading her to rig the votes and later of trying to bribe her into taking full responsibility. Yesterday, Samblik left the party and Ojuland was kicked out. But Vallbaum, who had threatened to sue the party if he were expelled, was kept in, as the party said it did not find evidence that he was implicated, ERR reported.
Moreover, Vallbaum said he believed Ojuland and claimed that Samblik had made the whole story up. "It's too bad about Taimi. She did her work well, excluding the two incidents that she made up," Vallbaum said.
In a written confession, Samblik said: "At some point someone realized that some voting-eligible members do not have e-mail addresses. Someone (Einar or Kristiina - I don't remember) ordered that e-mail addresses be made for those people. I don't know who made them. They appeared on my e-mail account from an unknown address. The full package, with passwords and all. The order came to insert them into the party's electronic network, to generate passwords and vote on behalf of them. I don't remember where the voting took place and who carried it out."
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said his party's internal votes will in future allow e-voting only via national ID cards, as opposed to the option of voting through Facebook and other less secure means. The party has said that a re-vote is not necessary.
After the scandal emerged in a newspaper report last week, Samblik admitted to having secretly cast e-votes on behalf of roughly 40 elderly party members who later said they had not voted.
Ojuland has denied any part in vote rigging, claiming that the party has tried to frame her.