Former MP: I was involved in illegal funding of Reform Party22.05.2012, 12:25
Silver Meikar, former MP and member of the Reform Party, admits that between 2009 and 2010 he gave the Reform Party 115,000 kroons (about 6,000 euros) that he had been given and whose origin he did not know, reported Postimees daily.
Meikar says that the proposal to put the illegal donation on his name was made by prominent party member, the then party general secretary Kristen Michal who today is minister of justice.
„It’s high time to tell the truth in public as otherwise we would not only jeopardize our opportunity to make politics more honest, but would put Estonia’s national security, future and independence at risk,” Meikar writes in Postimees, explaining why he decided to admit his involvement in the party’s illegal funding.
„I admit that I have taken to the Reform Party money that did no tbelong to me and whose origin I did not know,” he adds.
Meikar says that from December 2009 until February 2010, he made six donations to the party between 10,000 and 25,000 kroons each.
„I had received that money from Kalev Lillo who at that time was a leading administrator of the Reform Party. Before, I got a call from the party secretary Kristen Michal who asked if I wanted to support the party and said that I would be given an amount each time. I agreed,” writes Meikar.
„In July 2010, Michal reported that the Reform Party had no debt. The party won the 2011 elections.”
Illegal funding is rampant
Meikar writes that despite of attempts to block the trend, illegal funds continue to pour into parties.
NO99 was right when it said at the „United Estonia” political play: „The washing machine is in full cycle and working flat out. All parties are using this scheme. It is functioning, efficient and secret. No-one knows who is behind the money and who the party owes money to,” writes Meikar, adding that when he last week asked a current MP about it, he told him why change something that works so well.
Meikar says that he is not going to name names of fellow party members or MPs who have made similar donations on their personal behalf without knowing where the money came from, but there are tens if not hundreds of people.
„I admit that most party members were simply middlemen and did not benefit from such transactions, but they enabled the system to continue functioning.”
„If a person wishes to support a party because of the ideology, he or she can do it publicly. If a businessman wants to hide a donation, his interests are different, for instance winning a tender or getting a large order.”
Meikar writes that the national security agency KAPO should not be blamed for investigating a case where businessmen reportedly spent only a few hundred euros to secure a favourable decision from two Centre Party MPs.
Ester Tuiksoo and Priit Toobal were both suspected of having protected the interests of Jüri Luik, a controversial businessman.
According to Meikar, he is far from pointing his finger only at Centre Party, although they are controlling City of Tallinn that accounts for 75 percent of the country’s economy.
Ironically, it was the lawyers of Mati Eliste, a Reform Party member and himself suspect of accepting a bribe, who managed to convince the Supreme Court that the legal provisions on power peddling were not clear enough to use them in court.
„Think what power businessmen can have over government ministers by donating much bigger sums,” asks Meikar rhetorically.
„If the court cannot sentence Toobal and Tuiksoo for peddling power, the ruling must come from the public, otherwise we will simply establish that such political funding is legally correct and there is nothing that can be done,” writes Meikar in the opinion article published in Postimees.