Supreme Court overrules Center Party Narva election complaint

The Supreme Court of Estonia buildings, in Tartu.
The Supreme Court of Estonia buildings, in Tartu. Source: Margus Ansu/Eesti Meedia/Scanpix

The Supreme Court has overruled a complaint from the Center Party regarding alleged polling station irregularities in Narva, at the October 17 local election. The complaint was one of the last which had to be resolved before the official election results can be declared.

The Supreme Court agreed with the State Electoral Committee (VVK) that the allegations at the heart of Center's complaint gave no grounds to declare verification of the voting results at polling stations 4 and 5 of the city of Narva illegal.

The court also found that the VVK had not infringed procedural rules in their examination of the complaint, rejecting Center's complaint.

The ruling means all complaints arising from the October 17 local election have now been resolved. A recent complaint, in this case against Center rather than from it, over alleged voter-buying in Lüganuse, Ida-Viru County, saw the court similarly overrule a complaint, this time about the e-vote, but also order a criminal investigation.

A criminal investigation into alleged vote-buying, again in Narva, concerns one candidate, Sergei Gorlatš, chair of the Reform Party's Narva branch but running on October 17 for mayor Katri Raik's electoral list. The investigation has put on hold coalition negotiations between Raik's list and Eesti 200, and does not constitute an electoral complaint in the way that the aforementioned cases do.

The case the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday had seen Center request a part-anullment of the vote, that part cast at the two polling stations in question, due to alleged violations.

The VVK had violated procedural rules in processing the complaint, Center says, and had also erred in identifying the complainant as a party candidate at the election.

Now the electoral complaints have been resolved, the VVK can declare the October 17 results officially.

This will mean councils have a week – from the date the VVK makes the announcement - before they must take up their seats and start work, meaning the loose ends of any outstanding coalition negotiations must be tied up.

The provisional results are here.

The Supreme Court is located in Tartu.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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