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Estonia Ruling Party Support Ebbs to 3-Year Low, ERR Poll Shows

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Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Support for Estonia’s ruling Reform Party fell to the lowest level in more than three years in November after media criticized its handling of a financing scandal, public broadcaster ERR reported, citing a poll it commissioned.

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip’s party had 26 percent backing, the lowest since 2009, according to the Oct. 24-Nov. 14 survey of 901 respondents by TNS Emor. The opposition Social Democrats had 25 percent support, the Center Party had 23 percent and junior coalition partner Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit was favored by 17 percent of those polled, the most since at least August. No margin of error was given.

Reform on Oct. 24 evicted party member Silver Meikar, who said in May that he’d received about $9,400 in cash from party officials in 2009-2010 and donated the funds to the party under his own name, a practice he said was widespread. Anonymous donations to political parties, as well as donations by companies, are prohibited under Estonian law.

An investigation by state prosecutors into party financing, which targeted suspects including Justice Minister Kristen Michal, was closed Oct. 15 because of a lack of evidence.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ott Ummelas in Tallinn at oummelas@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net