In 2015, Reform drew top donations


PHOTO: Dmitri Kotjuh/Järva Teataja

Last year, the private donors most generous towards parliamentary parties were entrepreneurs Urmas Sõõrumaa and Hillar Teder. The sums given by the duo put together amounted to almost a quarter of the total donated. 

The biggest amount was by Urmas Sõõrumaa supporting Reform with €170,000 and Centre with €85,000.

Hillar Teder, now under corruption suspicion as linked to the Centre chief Edgar Savisaar, placed second last year by donation size. Meanwhile, the man is by far the greatest known private donor to Estonian political system these past years. Over three years, a total of €893,000 has been given to parties by Mr Teder.

Last year, Mr Teder distributed donations to the three parties in power: Reform got €130,000; IRL received €45,000 and Soc Dems €15,000. At that, his final donations of €30,000 to Reform and €10,000 to IRL date end of October 2015.   

Overall, parties represented in Riigikogu were donated two million euros, the largest share of which i.e. almost €585,000 went to Reform. IRL’s share was €494,323; Soc Dems got €464,030; and Centre stood at €244,446. The Free, freshly in parliament since spring were donated €148,028 and EKRE, also a Riigikogu newcomer, got €69,266.

The share of donations was greatest with IRL with 36 percent of income coming from private persons. With Centre, private donations percentage was 14 – the lowest of all.  

As the «older» parties featured up to a couple of hundred donors during the year, the Free collected donations from 349 while the conservative EKRE was blessed by a whopping 1121 individuals. As explained by EKRE chairman Mart Helme, the party received money from 1,009 donors in the fourth quarter, the majority of which also supported their anti-immigration petition.