Election campaigns set to cost parties up to 1 million euros ({{commentsTotal}})

The Social Democrats have put an initial figure of 500,000 euros for the cost of their national election campaign, with the other three Parliament parties each planning to spend double that.

Most of the ads used in the campaigns so far have already come under fire. Writer and Social Democrat MP Maimu Berg weighed in on the scandal around her party's use of Estonian writer Anton Hansen Tammsaare's image and other cultural figures from the 1920s and '30s, saying that Tammsaare did not belong to the party, but was a member of a student organization which supported radical socialism.

Tallinn University's political scientist Tõnis Saarts said that the party has never before launched such an ostentatious campaign. He said that the campaign is catching a public eye, and in that sense, the Social Democrats have succeeded.

Saarts added that the Reform Party's “Firmly Forward” slogan is nothing new and it's obvious that the party in charge must show that their policies are the only way forward. Party general secretary Martin Kukk said that this is just an initial ad campaign, and there is more to follow.

Commenting on the fact that the IRL has previously used the same slogan, in 1999 before the local elections, Kukk said that the Reform Party has taken over a lot from the old Isamaaliit, one half of the current IRL, including some values.

The Reform Party came under fire today for using the Ämari airbase for a campaign video, with critics saying the use of the Defense Forces' facilities for political gain is illegal.

The ads of Center Party youth members on Tallinn's public transport is not a political campaign, the party said. Taavi Pukk, the party's media officer, said his party and other parties are currently testing the audiences, adding that the main force of the campaigns will be unleashed in January and February.

IRL Chairman Urmas Reinsalu said that they will focus on simple and practical goals, such as the tax reform. Saarts said that IRL is continuing the tactic of centering on a few election promises.

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