The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Tuesday, November 20
Audit Office: Zurabishvili Secures 81% of Donations in 1H November

The State Audit Office, an independent body in charge of the political finance monitoring, reported that in the period from October 29 through November 16, Salome Zurabishvili and Grigol Vashadze have raised respectively 81% (GEL 1,743,000) and 19% (GEL 398,649) of the total GEL 2,141,649 in donations.

For the first round, the two candidates raised a total of GEL 6,102,423 in donations, 88.42% of which (GEL 5,395,984) went to Zurabishvili and 11.57% (GEL 706,439) to Vashadze.

Overall, since August 1, the candidate endorsed by the ruling party has been leading the fundraising efforts with a vast margin: out of the total of GEL 8,244,072 raised by the two candidates, 86.5 % (GEL 7,138,984 ) went to her, and 13.4% (GEL 1,105,088) to Vashadze.

None of Georgia’s political parties campaigned in Gali in first round of presidential election

None of the political parties in Georgia’s presidential election campaigned in the conflict zone, according to locals DFWatch spoke to in Gali, the southern district of breakaway Abkhazia.

This is unlike previous elections when the ruling party had local campaign workers out among the population promising various benefits, a resident of the village Tagiloni said.

“Minibuses were amassed at the ‘border’. We were taken by these minivans and brought back,” she recalls, adding that nothing similar happened this year.

Another local said he traveled from Gali to Zugdidi across the administrative borderline to cast his vote but didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

“Previously, [breakaway authorities] used to restrict crossing ‘the border’, but this time everything was exactly the same as on other days. I traveled with the usual passenger minivan, and there was no additional transport,” he said.

However, another local, who also traveled to Zugdidi in order to vote, told DFWatch that they encountered several campaigners during the trip.

“There was not the usual election fuss here. I don’t know what the reason is. Maybe they just neglected us,” he said. “The political environment was generally stagnant, yet I encountered a couple of Georgian Dream campaigners en route to Zugdidi in the van.”

The locals DFWatch spoke to also noted that Salome Zourabichvili did not have much support in the Gali territory.

“Generally, Gali residents have always supported the previous government, but now it has been influenced by the fact that [Georgian Dream] candidate is distinguished with pro-Russian statements, which is unacceptable for us,” said another resident of the district.
(DF watch)