Party Q1 2022 financials: Isamaa takes in €100,000 from Bigbank chief
Political parties have been submitting their first quarter 2022 (Q1 2022) financials, with the largest single donation so far reported being €100,000 given to the opposition Isamaa party.
The quarterly reports must be submitted to the Political Parties Financing Monitoring Committee (ERJK) and include data on subsidies granted by the state in proportion to a party's size, donations and membership fees, as well as that party's expenses for the quarter.
The main figures reported to the ERJK for Q1 2022 are as follows:
The Reform Party (34 seats and in office) took in €498,059 in Q1 2022 and spent €284,546.
The largest proportion of the party's income came in the form of the state subsidy, which totaled €432,623.
Donations totaled €54,056, with almost half of this (€25,000) coming from businessman Aivar Linnamäe.
Other significant sums donated included the €10,000 from Ebbe-Liisa Sõnajalg, a showjumping champ and daughter of businessman Andres Sõnajalg, €2,075 from Viimsi mayor Illar Lemetti and €2,000 from startup influencer Karoli Hindriks.
Membership fees totaled €10,919, with individual fees ranging from €15 to €45.
Center, with 26 seats and in office with Reform, took in €477,555 in Q1 2022 and spent €141,697.
The party had made pledges to exercise frugality following a recent Supreme Court ruling that the party must return €850,000 in illegal donations.
Center took in €330,830 in state support in Q1 2022,
Just under 200 people made donations to Center totalling €81,557, with the largest donation being the €10,000 from entrepreneur Tarmo Küla.
Another entrepreneur, Toivo Ninnas, donated €5,000.
Center took in a little over €65,000 in membership fees from just under 250 members, a larger amount than it had taken in in recent years and the result largely of the drive to sort out its finances.
Significant membership fees included those from the party's ministers, MPs and local government deputies, who paid membership fees which in their size at least more resembled donations.
Center's leadership nearly all paid in significant sums in membership fees.
Jüri Ratas, party chair and Riigikogu speaker, stumped up €1,425, while Tallinn mayor Mihhail Kõlvart paid €1,200.
Amont MP donors, Center's Riigikogu whip, Jaanus Karilaid, donated €2,948, MPs Kersti Sarapuu (€6,246), Kaido Höövelson (€5,000), Viktor Vassiljev (€4,567) and Aadu Must (€3,976) also contribueted, among others.
Of Center's seven ministers, four paid significant sums in membership fees, namely environment minister Erki Savisaar (€3,000), culture minister Tiit Terik (€2,800), interior minister Kristian Jaani (€2,412) and foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (€2,306).
The overall sum of €65,147 was larger for the one quarter than the party's overall yearly take from members over the period 2013-2019, while Center took in €85,254 for the whole of 2020. Last year the figure for the entire year was €81,998.
Opposition party Isamaa, with 12 seats in the Riigikogu, took in €152,691 in state support.
Bigbank owner Parvel Pruunsild donated €100,000 to Isamaa, and was by far the largest donor – the party's overall receipts for Q1 2022 from donations came to €115,615.
Of other significant donors, businessman Erik Sandla donated €4,382, Kristjan Vanaselja €3,100 and Tõnis Kons €3,000. The latter two people have since been expelled from the party despite their donations, as part of the purge which removed the "Parempoolsed" ("Right Wingers") faction last month.
249 Isamaa members paid membership fees, totaling €8,861.
The membership fee of the 249 members of the Fatherland totaled €8,861, while the party's expenses for Q1 2022 came to €105,122.
The Social Democratic Party (SDE), which is also in opposition and has nine seats in parliament, took in €155,532 in total and spent €125,701 over Q1 2022.
The party received €127,242 in state support for Q1 2022, the bulk of its income, in other words.
The party collected €19,339 in donations, the ERJK says, with €4,000, from entrepreneur Kadi Pärnits, representing the largest single sum.
The party's two MEPs, Marina Kaljurand and Sven Mikser, gave €2,500 each while MP Eduard Odinets donated €1,040.
A total of 61 people donated to the party, including the above, while 379 party members paid membership fees worth €8,954 in total.
Membership fees ranged in size from €5 to €100, with an outlier coming in the form of Tallinn deputy mayor Madle Lippus, who paid €800.
Eesti 200, a non-parliamentary party formed in 2018, was granted €25,000 in state support for Q1 2022.
The party took in €53,123 in donations, the bulk of it from founder of software developer Nortal AS Priit Alamäe (€20,300) and Urmas Sõõrumaa (€15,000). Sõõrumaa heads up the Estonian Olympic Committee (EOK).
Businessmen Jaak Laineste (€5,758) and Oleg Ossinovski (€5,000) also made significant donations to the party, while the total number of donors came to 34.
Eesti 200 took in €4,412 in membership fees in Q1 2022.
Estonia's 200 expenses in Q1 2022 came to €24,976.
Any political party must have a minimum membership of 500 to be registered as such.
The next elections are on March 5 2023, to the Riigikogu.
This article was updated to include figures for Reform and Center.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte