Figures for party donations in the third quarter of 2018 (Q3 2018) give an opportunity to compare the finances of all the major political parties in the lead in to the 2019 election. Reform received the highest donations at a reported €120,389, with Isamaa/Pro Patria in second place at €103,170. Top donors included Vjatšeslav Leedo (to Reform) and the Sõnajalg brothers (to both Pro Patria and SDE).
Of the Reform Party's total revenue of €523,233 reported for Q3 2018, the bulk came from state support (€401,955) with €120,389 in donations making it the highest-recipient party as noted. Just €550 came from membership dues, and €339 income from property owned by the party, over the same period, it is reported.
The party's largest single donor, Vjatšeslav Leedo, gave €45,000; other significant donors were Toomas Luman, Väino Kaldoja, Jaan Pillesaar and Endel Siff, who each pledged €10,000 to Reform in Q3 2018. Leader Kaja Kallas reportedly gave €600 to her party over the same period.
In second place, Pro Patria received €103,170 in Q3 2018, with top donors, finance minister Toomas Tõniste, and Kaspar Kokk, each granting €20,000 to the party, and brothers Oleg and Andres Sõnajalg donating €10,000 in spite, or perhaps because, of their ongoing war of words with the (Pro Patria controlled) defence ministry concerning the Aidu windfarm construction.
Toomas Luman and Jaanus Vool also gave €10,000 to the party. Party chair Helir-Valdor Seeder reportedly did not make a donation.
Social Democratic Party (SDE)
SDE were next with €42,642 from donors, with the Sõnajalg brothers also donating money, this time €5,000 each, and party member and MEP Ivari Padar, Lauri Paveer and Reigo Rusing stumping up the same amount. Party chair Jevgeni Ossinovski donated €275 to his party.
Centre received €37,329 in Q3 2018; the deepest pockets so far as they were concerned belonged to Sander Sellin (€5,000), Aleksei Ignatenko (€3,400), Centre MP Jaanus Karilaid (€3,000) and Toomas Väinaste, also giving €3,000. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas was the most generous amongst the party leaders, giving €1,111 over the same period.
Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE)
EKRE received €5,174 in donations, with the largest coming from Mait Talu (€1,000). Party chair Mart Helme did not contribute.
Other party donations
Of the remainder, the Estonian Green Party, who currently have no Riigikogu seats, garnered €3,119 in total, most of which came from Aivar Berzin's wallet, more than the beleaguered Free Party which only brought in €2,909, with the largest single donation at €510.
Estonia 200 and the Biodiversity Party are not yet registered as legal political parties since they have not met the required 500 members yet.
Editor: Andrew Whyte