MP Taavi Rõivas, deputy chairman of the Reform Party parliamentary group, said in an appearance on ETV's "Esimene stuudio" on Wednesday that he hopes Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) doesn't start stepping into the shoes of former longtime Center Party chairman Edgar Savisaar by making changes to legislation regulating the supervision of political party financing.
"If one were to believe what journalists and jurists have researched, then the Center Party is in the middle of a dispute with [the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK)] right now, and we're talking about more than €1 million," Rõivas said. "And if should actually happen that they want to upend this dispute with an amendment, then I'd say that Jüri Ratas has found Edgar Savisaar's shoes and filled them. I really hope that he will reconsider."
Attorney Allar Jõks said on Vikerraadio's "Uudis+" that the reassigning of the ERJK's tasks to the National Audit Office is simply cover in the bill introduced on Monday for the introduction of restrictions that would help spare the Center Party from a €1.2 million claim.
According to Rõivas, it is considered best practice for all political parties to discuss bills like this together, and that it isn't a matter of coalition or opposition.
"At least that was the case with earlier governments, that the opposition was included, because it affects all parties, and not any one party should be permitted to create this law in their own image," he explained. "And right now, the Center Party and the government more broadly is trying to legislate in their own favor."
The former prime minister said that he has no reason to criticize the ERJK.
"They're pretty strict," he said. "They have done their job well. This committee doesn't have a ton of resources, but they have nonetheless been able to highlight any problematic areas. But right now we have much more important things to do; more urgent things."
Editor: Aili Vahtla