Lehtme did not donate funds to Eesti 200's election campaign

Johanna-Maria Lehtme.
Johanna-Maria Lehtme. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Johanna-Maria Lehtme, who recently resigned from the Riigikogu in the wake of a scandal involving NGO Slava Ukraini, did not donate any personal funds to support the election campaign of her party, Eesti 200. All Lehtme's campaign expenses were covered by Eesti 200's budget.

On Monday evening, Mart Helme (EKRE) sent a letter to the Political Parties Funding Surveillance Committee (ERJK) asking if it had considered initiating a procedure to determine whether Eesti 200 supporters may have had a connection with the NGO Slava Ukraini and therefore whether the money collected by the NGO may have ended up being used to support the party's election campaign.

According to the funding reports submitted to the commission, Lehtme has not donated to the party. While Eesti 200's candidates in the Riigikogu elections spent more than €51,000 of their own personal finances on advertising during the campaign, Lehtme did not contribute any of her own funds.

Eesti 200 Chair Lauri Hussar said words the same effect last week. "I can assure you that Johanna-Maria Lehtme has not donated a single cent to Eesti 200, and Johanna-Maria Lehtme's election expenses were covered by Eesti 200's budget," said Hussar.

Eesti 200's head of communications Rauno Veri said, that there had been a little more spent on advertising for the party's regional candidates, but all the costs were covered by the general campaign budget and there had been no separate expenditure for individual candidates.

The party spent a total of €1.3 million in the first quarter of this year, of which €1.2 million went on advertising. Of this, €525,000 was spent outdoor advertising including billboards and posters, €253,000 on television ads, €117,000 on printed advertising and €229,000 on online adverts.

The party also spent €35,000 on advertising in the press and almost €30,000 on radio ads. In the first quarter, Eesti 200 received over €830,000 in donations.

Lehtme ran in March's Riigikogu elections in the electoral district of Haabersti, Põhja-Tallinn and Kristiine, winning 5,251 votes, making her the party's most successful candidate.

Lehtme, who has been temporarily suspended from her role as Slava Ukraini's CEO following allegations of embezzlement, announced her resignation from the Riigikogu on May 19.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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