Party Finances: Reform and EKRE donations down in Q2 2019
Incomes for three of the five elected political parties in Estonia, plus one party which is not represented at the Riigikogu, for the second quarter of 2019, have been made available by Baltic News Service. Party donations dropped for two parties, Reform and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), most likely due to the post-election effect.
According to data from the Supervisory Committee on Party Financing (ERJK), opposition Reform Party received close to €700,000 in funds in Q2 2019, BNS reports.
The largest component of this sum came from state subsidies of €447,134. Political parties in Estonia receive subsidies in proportion to their size and representation.
Reform also received donations of €249,362, almost €130,000 less than the party had received in the previous quarter.
The largest single party donors Q2 2019 were buseinessman Indrek Rahumaa, with a donation of €35,000, Olympic Entertainment Group owner Armin Karu (€25,000) and Mercedes car dealership Silberauto AS owner Vaino Kaldoja (€15,000).
According to ERR's online news in Estonian, recently-elected Reform MEP and outgoing European Commissioner Andrus Ansip donated just over €10,000 to the party, with fellow MEP Urmas Paet stumping up €7,000.
Income earned on property owned by the party was reported at €539.
EKRE received a little over €266,000 in Q2 2019, according to BNS. It saw a large drop in donations, however.
Again, state subsidies were the largest component here at just under €250,000. The party received a little over €6,000 in donations, and a similar figure in membership fees, according to ERJK data.
The party's donations in Q1 2019 had been close to €100,000.
Income from party property was just under €4,000.
As already reported on ERR News, the Social Democratic Party (SDE) received a little over €93,000 in donations in Q2 2019, ahead of the European Parliamentary elections, with the largest single contributor being businessman Heiti Hääl (€10,000), as well as a reported €131,510 in state subsidies, and €5,631 in membership fees.
According to data from the Financing Supervision Commission (ERJK), the party also took out a loan worth €300,000 from LHV Pank in early April.
Non-parliamentary party Estonia 200 brought in €25,000 in state subsidies and a little over €2,000 in donations, according to ERJK data, in Q2 2019. Almost half the donations came from two individuals, Meelis Niinepuu, who also ran for the party in the general election, and Nortal AS CEO Priit Alamäe.
The party also took out a loan from LHV Pank, for €100,000.
Estonia 200 was only formed in the second half of 2018 and contested its first two elections on March 3 (general election) and May 26 (European elections). It won no seats at either, though narrowly missed out on reaching the 5 percent threshold necessary to send MPs to the Riigikogu in the March election.
In general, while parties spend large sums of money (in the millions among the larger parties) on pre-election campaigning, this was largely done in Q1 2019 for the general election, meaning that the donations would fall in the aftermath.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte