The Reform Party, headed by Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, has cast out MEP Kristiina Ojuland for vote rigging in an internal party election in May. After the scandal emerged in a newspaper report last week, Taimi Samblik, a regional development director, admitted to having secretly cast e-votes on behalf of roughly 40 elderly party members who later said they had not voted. Samblik, who left the party today, said she had been persuaded to rig the votes by Ojuland in May, and in another leadership vote in 2011, by Lääne-Viru County Governor Einar Vallbaum, who has so far avoided being expelled.
Samblik has also claimed that Ojuland and Vallbaum recently approached her, offering her a year’s salary and a month-long trip to Tenerife to wait for the scandal to blow over, in return for taking the blame wholly on herself.
The party has also accused Ojuland of paying the 10-euro annual party membership dues of 39 people whose votes were hijacked. Ojuland has denied any part in vote rigging, claiming that the party has tried to frame her.