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The News in Brief

Monday, September 18
Political Party Donations

The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party received total of GEL 7.34 million in donations in a period from July 1 to September 13, 2017, according to the filings with the State Audit Office, which is in charge of political finance monitoring.

The Movement for Liberty – European Georgia party, which split from the United National Movement in January 2017, is the second largest recipient of donations with GEL 323,675.

The Alliance of Patriots raised GEL 15,600, followed by the NPC-Girchi with GEL 15,300; the National Democratic Party – GEL 12,204; the National Forum – GEL 9,215; the United National Movement – GEL 5,432; the Democratic Movement – United Georgia – GEL 900; the United Communist Party of Georgia – GEL 434; the Georgia for Peace – GEL 200 and the Republican Party – GEL 40.

The State Audit Office said it requested further information from the Revenue Service about incomes of 225 individuals and 14 legal entities who donated to the political parties.

“We have summoned 14 natural persons with six having donated to the European Georgia and eight – to the Georgian Dream since we have questions about their incomes,” Nino Lomjaria, acting head of the State Audit Office, told reporters.

Georgia’s political party funding rules, which were eased in 2013, allow corporate donations.

A legal entity has the right to donate maximum of GEL 120,000 annually to a political party. Donation from an individual citizen is capped at GEL 60,000 annually.

Changes in the content of constitution possible if constitutional initiative is raised

Head of the Procedural Issues and Rules of Georgia’s Parliamentary Committee Giorgi Kakhiani says any changes in terms of content are ruled out in the constitutional changes bill, adding it cannot be implemented within the framework of the third hearing.

As Kakhiani has told IPN, theoretically, if a constitutional initiative is raised, new changes in terms of content will be possible to be made in the constitution.

‘Within the framework of the third hearing it is impossible to make any amendments in terms of content. Only editorial and stylistic amendments can be made… No act will be adopted by violation of legislative requirements,’ Kakhiani has told IPN.

As he has added the governmental team has considered all remarks of the Venice Commission and no legal notes are expected in the upcoming conclusion.

“I also believe there will be no need to implement any content changes,’ Kakhiani has declared.

As a reminder, Venice Commission Secretary Thomas Markert has declared that amendments are expected to be made in the constitutional reform bill.

As reported by Markert, the Georgian side has provided him with this information.

‘As far as it’s already known, only editorial changes can be implemented in third hearing, but as we were informed, the text may also experience amendments,’ Markert has declared.

As for the preliminary version of the Venice Commission conclusion, planned to be published on September 22, Thomas Markert says it is important the parliamentary majority to take the commission’s viewpoints into account.

‘We will publish the project of our opinion on September 22. At the moment I cannot specify the content of the document. But I would like to say that it is important the parliamentary majority to take the commission’s viewpoints into consideration,’ the Venice Commission Secretary has remarked.

Georgian consulate opens in Kazakhstan amid Georgia-Kazakhstan business forum

A Georgian consulate has been opened in Kazakhstan, accompanied by a Georgia-Kazakhstan business forum.

The event in the city of Karaganda was attended by the diplomatic corps accredited in Kazakhstan, local authorities, people from the public sector and more than 100 business people.

Welcome speeches were made by Georgia’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zurab Abashidze and Georgia’s Honorable Consul Zhanat Tusupbekov.

Representatives from Georgia’s Ministries of Economy and Energy briefed the attendees of the business forum about Georgia’s business regulations, an attractive investment climate and a liberal tax system, Georgia’s Foreign Ministry reported.

The audience also received information about Georgia’s cultural and historical sites, tourism development potential, democratic reforms and ethnographic issues.

Visitors could familiarize themselves with Georgian and Kazakhstan folklore and taste Georgian food and wine.