IT minister accused of bussing-in voters to EKRE regional leaders election

Kert Kingo (EKRE).
Kert Kingo (EKRE). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Minster for Foreign Trade and IT Kert Kingo (EKRE) has allegedly been involved in manipulating the internal politics of her party, ERR's online news in Estonian reports, quoting daily Postimees,

Kingo bussed-in guest voters to facilitate the election of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Tartu and Jõgeva County branch leader, from Tartu City, it is alleged. Kingo also attempted the same tactic in order to remove EKRE Riigikogu candidate Indrek Särg from the party's Tartu City branch.

The move has been acknowledged by EKRE MP Peeter Ernits, and former MP Raivo Põldaru, and took place at a party meeting held at the village of Tabivere, in Tartu County.

Särg was expelled from the party in any event, last week. He says he fell out of favor with party leader, interior minister and deputy prime minister Mart Helme, and his son, and finance minister, Martin Helme.

Mart Helme said the situation with EKRE's Tartu branch had been "getting worse … for a while." Särg violated party statutes surrounding general meetings of the local branch, the EKRE leadership says.

Särg received  2,223 votes at the March 3 general election, four times as many votes as Ruuben Kaalep, but nonetheless did not get a Riigikogu seat, whereas Kaalep did.

Kert Kingo, who replaced Marti Kuusik, who stepped down after one day on the job following allegations of domestic violence, had faced criticism for stating that she would only travel outside of Estonia on work-related trips when it was absolutely necessary. She added that her working language would be Estonian, even at the international level.

She is however expected to attend an international-level meeting in Ottawa, Canada, this week.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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