Kallas: ERJK may get powers to scrutinize political parties' expenses

To curb political funding, the Political Party Funding Supervision Committee (ERJK) may gain the right to check the expenses of political parties, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said on Wednesday.
Speaking during her first Riigikogu question time on Wednesday about tackling corruption, Kallas said one idea which has been raised is that income, as well as expenses, should be scrutinized by the commission. She also raised the question of who pays for advertising.

She said, currently, the problem is that ERJK cannot undertake the task as it not capable of checking the expenditures of political parties and said the analytical capability of the commission should be increased.

She said the Reform Party is not in favor of the Social Democrats' plan to set a limit on parties' election expenses as this would be difficult to control.

Kallas said one possibility, as implemented in other countries, would be that political parties are financed by the state budget and donations are forbidden. "But given that we are a liberal country, I am not in favor of it," she said.

"We do not plan to allow corporate donations to political parties," Kallas said, replying to a comment that both Reform and Center had support the idea in the past from Social Democrat MP Jevgeni Ossinovski.

The coalition government of the Reform Party and the Center Party, which took office on Tuesday, has promised to fight against political corruption.

The Center Party is currently under criminal investigation over a state aid loan given to real estate development Porto Franco. The claims caused the previous government to collapse.

Read the article in ERR.