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New regulations for financing non-parliamentary parties

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, July 31
On July 29 the Georgian Parliament adopted new regulations concerning the financing of political parties. Initially the Georgian Dream coalition wanted to delay the decision-making process after the Presidential Elections. However, the non-parliamentary parties protested this idea and as a result, parliament made the decision.

Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Usupashvili, said because of the agitation among political entities, the majority of the MPs decided to adopt the bill on financing before the forthcoming presidential elections.

There are certain interesting items included in the law. Legal entities are retuned the rights to finance the political parties once a year by no more than 120, 000 GEL. The previous administration in December 2011 banned legal entities from financing political parties. This right was given only to physical entities.

It is also significant that according to the new regulations the threshold for qualifying at different elections has been decreased. The political parties which did not qualify for the 2012 parliamentary elections will receive a one-time allowance of up to 150, 000 GEL for their participation in the presidential elections.

This clause has been put into the new legislation, which will encourage participation of women in the activities of the political parties. This envisages certain benefits to encourage participation of females in the political activities.

The parties will also be given the right to take credit of up to 1 million GEL every year. Before the presidential elections, 14 political parties have been qualified to receive budgetary financing.

Analysts suggest that the new law contains interesting items that assist political entities in their political activities. However, non-parliamentary political entities are not satisfied with the proposed changed; they think it does not create equal conditions for the various parties and two major entities - the Georgian Dream coalition and the United National Movement (UNM) will take most benefits form the new regulations.