ERJK expects Isamaa and Parempoolsed to answer elections arrears questions

Priit Sibul.
Priit Sibul. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK) wants information from Isamaa and Parempoolsed regarding the conditions on which they're paying their elections campaign debts. The committee wants answers by the time of its next meeting in mid-June.

ERJK's earlier inquiries have seen Isamaa claim that it has been given extremely long payment deadlines (200-260 days) by its creditors. The party did not elaborate on the nature of these agreements, the minutes of the committee's May 18 meeting reveal.

The Parempoolsed party promised to pay all of its debts based on future revenue, while also giving no other explanation.

The party's deputy chair Kristjan Vanaselja said that the Parempoolsed have received the committee's new request for information but have not found the time to respond.

"We can assure you that all our campaign partners have offered their services on market conditions. We will pay all our suppliers, while we have not been able to pay all of them on time. In cases like that, partners can charge additional late fees. We have not made any illegal transactions," Vanaselja said.

He said that the party still owes around €300,000 in campaign arrears.

Isamaa secretary Priit Sibul said the party has not received ERJK's information request yet.

"I will need to see the letter first, to learn what the committee wants to know exactly. But it is true that Isamaa has a couple of substantial unpaid invoices the payment deadlines of which are yet to arrive."

Sibul said that Isamaa still owes around half a million euros.

"As concerns the election campaign period, we are largely talking about a single company. The agreement we have with the company is based on market conditions to the best of our knowledge. We have not tried to mislead anyone or failed to comply with the law," he added.

The committee is charged with exercising supervision over party funding and whether parties comply with the Political Parties Act.

The latter stipulates that political parties can only borrow from credit institutions and that all economic transactions must take place under market conditions.

"The average payment period is 10-30 days after which late fees will apply, based on market logic. While a loan is the simplest way to raise funds from the watchdog's point of view, other types of contracts are also considered legal as long as they follow the logic of services rendered and payments made on market conditions, including paying for the right to use the creditor's funds," ERJK head Liisa Oviir said.

The committee has confirmed that the campaign funding agreements of the Reform Party, Social Democratic Party, Eesti 200 and the Center Party all have interest and late fee rates that correspond with market conditions.

Oviir said that the committee expects Isamaa and Parempoolsed to reply in the first half of June.

ERJK will then make its decisions during its June 15 meeting.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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