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Ratas condemns Center Party’s lasting connection with corruption cases

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas is also the chairman of the ruling Center Party.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas is also the chairman of the ruling Center Party. Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Prime minister and chairman of the Center Party, Jüri Ratas, said in an interview with daily Postimees that he would like his party to free itself from corruption charges, and from having to go to court.

“The Center Party doesn’t need to be the party that is constantly associated with corruption. Yes, we have the known court cases that the Center Party and some of our members are connected with. These certainly don’t work to our favor,” Ratas told the paper. “The Center Party wasn’t founded to appear in first, second, and third tier courts and defend its rights there,” he added.

According to Ratas, the corruption cases that have come to light over the last few years showed that the state’s institutions were working well. “This certainly shows that the Internal Security Service is doing its job the way it should. Corruption, no matter at which level, whether at the municipal or the state level, has no place,” Ratas said.

The prime minister also said that he wanted to change his party. “We have to get rid of our financial debt, we have taken very specific steps to that end. We are selling the 3/5 Toom-Rüütli property (the party’s former headquarters; ed.). I have said before that the Center Party doesn’t need to be in court all the time. I completely condemn that,” Ratas added.

Commenting on the connection of a Tallinn deputy mayor, Arvo Sarapuu, who is also a Center Party member, with the local garbage disposal business, Ratas said that he had asked Sarapuu about all of it directly. Sarapuu had denied getting any money out of the business, and having any hidden connections to it.

“If an investigation is begun against him and he is found guilty, then naturally the court’s ruling applies,” Ratas told Postimees.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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