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Election subjects received GEL 32 mln

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, March 13
Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Transparency International – Georgia released the results of their report about the recent election campaigns financing issues, saying the total income of the election subjects from July 8 to November 16 2016 amounted to over 32 million Gel.

The report says that the largest income 21,310211 Gel was received by the ruling party Georgian Dream (GD), followed by the opposition United National Movement (UNM) with 2,811 045 Gel and Alliance of Patriots of Georgia (APG) with 1,674 908 Gel.

“GD income was seven times larger than the UNM's income, and twice more than the total income of all the other parties. Such a difference in money has not been observed since 2010,” the report reads.

Moreover, all qualified election subjects received a total of 21,726165 GEL private donations. More than 19 million Gel was received by the GD, followed by the APG with 998,001 Gel and the UNM with 972,764.

“GD received donations during the election period are 19 times more than the donations of the APG and 6 times more than the private donations received by all other election subjects. Such a difference is unprecedented in the history of Georgia,” the NGO concluded.

The survey also revealed that during the election period, 122 government officials and their family members donated to the parties. Out of them 8 cases raise questions, whether these people really had enough funds to donate, as their donations exceed their declared income.

“We believe that these eight people did not have enough annual income to donate to the political parties,” Levan Natroshvili, TI's Program Manager, stated at the presentation of the report.

Four people from these eight are current or former Members of Parliament, namely Zviad Kvachantiradze, Zaza Papuashvili, Pati Khalvashi and Zurab Abashidze. The first three donated for the GD and the latter donated for the Free Democrats.

As for the expenses, during the election period, nine qualified subjects spent a total of 31,618225 GEL. The largest part of the costs – 22,291484 GEL (70%) - was spent by the GD, followed by the UNM with 2,613102 Gel and Free Democrats with 1,415539 Gel.

TI says that the overwhelming majority of declarations are not completely filled by the parties.

“We have the impression that the political parties either do not know how to fill the forms of declarations, or they deliberately fill them in incorrectly,” the report reads.