Reform Party submits one proposed change to ERJK bill

Reform Party chair Kaja Kallas
Reform Party chair Kaja Kallas Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The opposition Reform Party parliamentary group has submitted its proposed change to the bill set to disband the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK), with which it wants to prevent the transferring of the ERJK's functions to the National Audit Office.

According to the letter of explanation accompanying the bill, the ERJK has been effective in providing oversight, having issued a total of 82 precepts since its establishment in 2011, all of which have been declared valid in court.

"The sponsors of the bill were unable to answer a simple question in committee: what problem does this bill solve for the people of Estonia or the state?" Reform parliamentary group chairwoman Kaja Kallas said.

"The handing over of the ERJK's functions to the National Audit Office is likely to be unconstitutional because oversight of nonprofits is not listed among the National Audit Office's responsibilities. Tasking them with such a function may cause problems with the fulfillment of the National Audit Office's duties as prescribed by the Constitution."

Kallas said the government cannot relax oversight of party financing in a situation where serious doubts exist that this is being done to allow the Center Party, the leading party of the ruling coalition, to escape a claim against it and bury the scandal surrounding it involving a €50,000 donation.

"The Social Democrats (SDE) have submitted 50,000 proposed changes to the bill, the goal of which is to prevent this bill, which is very damaging to Estonia, from being passed," she explained.

"Obstructing the Riigikogu's work is one of few tools available to the opposition for preventing the government from tyranny. Thus we have promised to support the SDE's proposed changes in committee discussions so that they can be put to a vote in the Session Hall as well."

The coalition parties Center, Isamaa and EKRE have submitted a bill to disband the ERJK and hand its responsibilities over to the National Audit Office. Yesterday, ERR News reported the bill will progress to its second reading when the new sitting starts in September.

The ERJK supervises the legality of obtaining and spending the finances of political parties, as well as also election coalitions and independent candidates who participate in elections.

The main tool of the ERJK is the financial reporting information system, through which the reports on the finances of political parties are collected and published reliably and in a comparable format.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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