Radio station and both Helmes fined over election day broadcast

Martin Helme (left) and Mart Helme (EKRE).
Martin Helme (left) and Mart Helme (EKRE). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Interior minister Mart Helme (EKRE), finance minister Martin Helme (EKRE) and radio station TRE Raadio have together been fined just under €500 relating to infringements of electoral law on European election day, May 26.

TRE Raadio, owned by Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) MP Siim Pohlak, hosted both Helmes on its "Räägime asjast" broadcast on May 26.

However, under Estonian electoral law, election advertising on election day, which, it was argued, the broadcast constituted, is banned.

TRE Raadio was fined €140 for the infringement, with the Helmes being fined €128 each for same, following a Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) investigation into the incident, which had also attracted the attention of the Political Parties Financing Supervision Committee (ERJK), as containing elements of electoral advertising.

Additionally, TRE Raadio has been ordered by the PPA to remove the broadcasts from its website.

In early June, Mart Helme, facing a vote of no-confidence put forward by opposition Reform Party at the time, stated that the broadcast's timing was an oversight.

"The broadcast was recorded on the Friday and we did not think it would go on air on the Sunday," he said, according to ERR's online news in Estonian.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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