Bulk of Q2 2023 Center Party donations came from its own leading members

Center Party office.
Center Party office. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The bulk of the €330,148 in donations the Center Party took in in donatoins in the second quarter of the year (Q2 2023) will be returned to the donor. Most of the remaining donations were derived from its own leading politicians.

BigBank owner Parvel Pruunsild donated €300,000 to Center but, as reported by ERR News, Center has opted to return this sum.

Overall, Center's income for Q2 2023 was €546,271, €205,116 of which came in the form of state support, according to the data from the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK).

A total of 215 Center Party members, only a small proportion of the total, together paid €11,006 in membership dues, the ERJK reports.

Leaving aside Pruunisld, the largest donor to Center was its outgoing leader, Jüri Ratas, who gave a little over €5,000 to his party, plus membership dues.

Tanel Kiik, a rising Center star, paid €748 in donations in Q2 2023, whereas his rival in the current leadership race, Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart, did not donate anything to the party in that quarter.

Former government minister and current PR figure Janek Mäggi donated €5,000, another former minister, Jaak Aab, gave €4,800.

In Q2 2023, former MP Siret Kotka made three separate donations, of €2,600, €1,205 and €836.

Center's board opted to return the Pruunsild donation last week, ostensibly as a way of the party, historically beset with financial issues and corruption allegations, distancing itself from the other two opposition parties, with whom it was in office 2019-2021, namely Isamaa and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE).

The move was one which Kõlvart and his supporters took; incumbent leader Jüri Ratas then pledged his support for Tanel Kiik as his replacement, and proposed calling an extraordinary congress to do just that.

Earlier on in Q2 2023, Ratas had already faced a leadership challenge from Kõlvart, following the party's poor showing at the March 5 election, but was able to head that off at the time.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja

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