Expert opinion International review

Reform chair files bill to bar candidacy of those convicted of corruption

Reform Party chairman Hanno Pevkur at an event launching the party's local election campaign in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR.

This material belongs to:

Chairman of the opposition Reform Party Hanno Pevkur on Monday filed a bill with the Riigikogu aimed at eliminating the situation in which people who have been convicted of corruption are able to run again in Estonia’s local or Riigikogu elections and European Parliament elections.

“According to existing law, only persons who have been found guilty of a crime and are serving an actual prison sentence cannot run in local elections, Riigikogu elections or European Parliament elections,” Pevkur said according to a press release. “At the same time, the law does not forbid the candidacy of people who, for example, have been found guilty of corruption but received a conditional sentence.”

Pevkur said that the state must, on the legislative level, clearly stipulate that a person who hase committed a professional crime must not represent the public until the sentence has expired.

“Currently, it has been left for the person themselves or for the voters to decide whether someone convicted of corruption will be reelected or not,” he noted. “At the same time, there have been cases across Estonia in which a person who abused their position is running for a seat again. I do not think that is right.”