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Reform in record deficit following 2017 elections

The Reform Party.
The Reform Party. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The capital of the opposition Reform Party has never run such a large deficit as it did following the 2017 local elections in Estonia, when the net assets of the party ran a deficit of nearly €740,000, it appears from the party's annual report to the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK).

The party's 2017 annual report must first be endorsed by the board of the Reform Party ahead of Saturday's general assembly, which in turn needs to approve it.

The party board discussed the report last Friday, but did not achieve quorum. Digital signatures are currently in the process of being collected for the endorsement of the report.

Compared to the aftermath of the 2015 Riigikogu election, the party's 2017 deficit is nearly twice as high; compared to the 2013 local government elections, last year's deficit has nearly quadrupled.

Since 2011, no single party has even run such a large deficit as Reform's nearly €740,000 in 2017; the previous record was held by the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), which in 2015 ran a deficit of €486,830.

"It's true that the party's net assets ran a deficit as of the end of last year," Ene Kaups, acting secretary general of the Reform Party, told ERR on Tuesday. "The amount in question has been drastically reduced since then, but based on even the most conservative estimates, the plan is to end the year in a surplus."

This is a typical post-election situation, Kaups noted, pointing out that the party was in a similar situation following the 2013 local government elections, for example. "Payment schedules have been drawn up, just as then, and financial obligations will be fulfilled in a timely fashion. The Reform Party, by the way, raised the most donations last year."

The Reform official noted that the recent situation, in which the party does not have a secretary general following the dismissal of Tõnis Kõiv, has certainly not been helpful, but she had no doubt whatsoever that the party's capable team would be strong and sure heading into the 2019 Riigikogu election.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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