The opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has relieved its regional coordinator Rudolf Jeeser from his post, citing financial issues, daily Postimees reports.
Jeeser, who will remain an EKRE member, told Postimees (link in Estonian) that: "I am being laid off, and in the layoff notification they informed me that this relates to the party's financial issues."
Jeeser declined to comment on Postimees' question whether the story-behind-the-story was a divergence of opinion from EKRE board member Merry Aart, while the paper was similarly unable to obtain comment from party leader Martin Helme or from its communications chief Holger Berg.
Jeeser is a former Estonian Defense Forces logistics commander, and had been in the post since September 2020, having joined the party in 2017 (EKRE itself was founded in 2012).
He had been a member of the Social Democrats (SDE) 2012-2014.
Martin Helme told ERR's Vikerraadio earlier this week that the party's performance at the March 5 Riigikogu election, which turned out to be worse than predicted, was the result of shortcomings of the e-voting system, adding that internal criticism mostly derives from individual candidates dissatisfied with their own performance on election day.
Postimees reported earlier this week that the party had been losing hundreds of members since the start of the year - though its overall membership level of a little over 10,000 remains stable.
Data from the Political Party Funding Supervision Committe (ERJK) revealed that the party spent over half-a-million euros on pre-election campaigning before the March 5 Riigikogu elections, a sum significantly smaller than the other, bigger political parties in Estonia, though it had spent €770,000 on political advertising in the final quarter of 2022, meaning it started its electoral campaign considerably earlier than the other parties.
The party lost two seats on March 5, meaning its state support – issued in proportion to the representation and vote of a party – will have fallen to a little under €72,700 per quarter (from over €80,000).
Editor: Andrew Whyte