Parties expect to spend up to €1.5 million on election campaigns

Kaja Kallas standing in front of a campaign poster in November 2022.
Kaja Kallas standing in front of a campaign poster in November 2022. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

With six weeks to go until the next election, Estonia's political parties have said they expect to spend between €0.5 and €1.5 million on campaigning. Loans will be taken out if necessary, politicians have said.

Wednesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" spoke to parties about their plans for the run-up to the March 5 election.

Center Party's secretary general Andre Hanimägi said campaigning will be more modest this year. The party is not in debt and does not plan to take out a loan.

"The scale of the campaign is likely to be over half a million — €600,000. In addition, as in the local elections, the Center Party's candidates will contribute a large part of the money," said Hanimägi.

EKRE did not specify how much it plans to spend. Board member Siim Pohlak said it will be the party's most expensive campaign to date and will mostly be paid for by the group.

An election campaign poster at the 2019 election. Source: Olev Kenk/ERR

"And we certainly won't go begging for donations from businessmen, but if we need to, we'll take out a bank loan," he said.

The Social Democrats estimate their costs to be €1 million which is funded by state budget support, donors, and membership fees.

"We have also taken into account that we will need to take out a loan to pay for the campaign," added General Secretary Eduard Odinets.

Isamaa's costs are expected to be in the same area, said General Secretary Priit Sibul.

"At the moment, the party has not decided to take out a loan,it has not been discussed. We have both state budget support and, as is well known, we have to raise much more than others from private donors, from private individuals," he told "Aktuaalne kaamera".

Election campaign posters at the 2019 national election. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Reform has no plans to take a loan but spending will likely top €1 million.

"We have estimated, based on previous campaigns, that this is will be approximately €1.5 million," said Timo Suslov, the party's secretary general.

Non-parliamentary party Eesti 200's campaign funding comes from donors.

"Eesti 200's budget is around €1 million. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less," said board member Marek Reinaas.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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