Eesti 200 secures major donations from IT businessmen after chairman change

Eesti 200 general meeting in Tallinn, Saturday, October 15 2022, which elected Lauri Hussar as new leader.
Eesti 200 general meeting in Tallinn, Saturday, October 15 2022, which elected Lauri Hussar as new leader. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

While donations to the non-parliamentary Eesti 200 party are usually in tens or hundreds of euros, well-known IT businessmen donated a total of over €100,000 to the party a week after it got a new chairman. Eesti 200 leader Lauri Hussar said the money supports the party's ideas and not him.

A week after Eesti 200 elected Lauri Hussar as its new chairman, Bolt founders Markus Villig and Martin Villig, TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, Starship co-founder Ahti Heinla and tech investor Sten Tamkivi each donated €20,000 to the party.

Hussar told ERR that over €100,000 worth of donations had nothing to do with his person.

"People support Eesti 200 because of our ideas. We are an important party support for which follows our position and the attitudes we represent. My person should not be seen as relevant here, we are a large party. We must put in a good result at Riigikogu elections to make sure Estonia keeps moving forward instead of back," Hussar said.

Donations to parties will be reflected in the fourth quarter report of the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (EJRK) expected around January 10.

The recent donation will be a big help for Eesti 200 heading into Riigikogu elections as it collected just €206,433 in the first three quarters of 2022.

Party member Priit Alamäe donated €25,000 to Eesti 200 in the fourth quarter, with Atso Maasalu contributing €5,000.

Donations of €10,000 or more have in the past been made by businessmen Joakim Helenius, Tarmo Tamm and Urmas Sõõrumaa.

Eesti 200 members elected Lauri Hussar, who got seven more votes than recent chair Kristina Kallas, in mid-October. Hussar said at the time that Eesti 200 is aiming for 20 Riigikogu seats from the March elections. Different polls put support for the party at 9-14 percent.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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