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The anatomy of business and politics in Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, December 11
There are often cases in Georgia where businesspeople become politicians, and vice versa. There are some interesting cases taking place in this regard in the country.

Recently, Transparency International Georgia published a report revealing different schemes of corrupt deals and nepotism. There are multiple examples showing how the businessmen who had moved to politics use the advantage of their positions and former political figures going into business to take advantage of their former contacts and influence.

The TI reports that out of 147 MPs, 41 have either direct or indirect connections with business. It also reveals the information that out of 69 ministers and their deputies, 19 have direct or indirect connection with business.

In some cases there was a serious risk of a conflict of interests. The authors of the research give the recommendation to regulate and improve the situation. One of the leaders of the Georgian Dream coalition, Kakha Kaladze was nominated as an example. He is the Minister of Energy and had serious business interests in the energy sector.

The report mentions that although after becoming a minister, Kaladze re-registered his shares in the companies; it would be difficult to believe that he would lose his interest towards these companies.

Other high officials were also included in the report who had been affiliated with the Cartu Group, the foundation established by Bidzina Ivanishvili.

TIís report also offers a list of recommendations advising the government to apply to the cases to improve the situation and decrease the level of risks

Members of the parliamentary majority challenge TIís observations and conclusions, saying that everything is done according to legislation and that Georgian MPs do not use their political influence to take advantage to any kind of business.

Former businessman, MP Gogi Topadze said that currently business needs no extra protection. Moreover, he said that he is in the parliament to facilitate the creation of a free business environment in the country. Topadze agrees with the fact that it is not necessary for businesspersons to join politics. But the reality and circumstances forced the businessmen to go into politics to protect business interests in general.