Party members tussle for favorable registration conditions

  • 2004-04-15
TALLINN -- A scuffle between representatives of the Center Party and the Social Democrats on Wednesday morning marked the beginning of the candidate registration for the European Parliament elections.

Following the old political tradition of taking a place in the line for registration long before the registration opening time, the Social Democratic Party representatives were the first to come to the office of the National Electoral Committee at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, the online version of the Postimees daily reported the next day.

In Estonia the lists of candidates at the voting stations are arranged according to the order of candidate registration. In other words, the party who was registered first will have their list on top.

According to Olari Koppel, spokesman for the Social Democrats, the Center Party members showed up at night and took up the first place in line "using superior numbers."

Evelyn Sepp, spokeswoman of the Center Party, told BNS that the line for the candidate registration is based on the first come, first served basis, and that when Ave Jogiaas of the Center Party came to the National Electoral Committee door there was nobody there.

Jogiaas was reportedly removed by force from the first position in the line by Rein Org, the secretary general of the Social Democratic Party. Jogiaas filed a complaint to the police that arrived to the place of the conflict before 9 a.m.

The police registered several minor incidents, namely one of the centrists had lost a button from his jacket and another Center Party member had fallen down during the scuffle for the first place in line. Two members of the Center Party have written explanatory notes for the police.