Center Party pays first installment in election ad repayment to Tallinn

A 2013 advertisement for a cleanup day at Tallinn's Hiiu Stadium depicting Center Party members Arvo Sarapuu, Edgar Savisaar and Jaanus Mutli. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

In accordance with a deal struck with Estonia's party finance watchdog, the Center Party paid its first installment in the repayment of nearly €117,000 spent on ads for ex-chairman Edgar Savisaar.

The first installment has been paid by the Center Party according to its agreement with the Estonian Supervisory Committee on Party Financing (ERJK), party spokesperson Andre Hanimägi confirmed to ERR's online news portal.

Last month, it was announced that the Center Party would be paying back the sum on Savisaar's behalf. The committee offered the party a payment plan whereby it would pay back the full amount in equal installments over a four-month period beginning in February.

In January 2015, the ERJK ordered Savisaar, then mayor of Tallinn and chairman of the Center Party, to pay the city back €116,642.89 in illegal donations, eliminate deficiencies in the party's report on the financing of its 2013 campaign as well as provide proof of these requirements having been met.

The illegal donation consisted of the use of Tallinn city budgetary funds to cover the costs incurred by Savisaar's "Tallinn moves" campaign and Hiiu Stadium advertisements featuring Savisaar and other Center Party members in 2013, ahead of local elections.

While Savisaar contested the precept in a court of law, it entered into force following the Supreme Court's rejection of the former party leader's appeal on Nov. 10 of last year.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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