State Audit Office reports monitoring results on donations to political parties
By Khatia Kardava
Wednesday, September 20A month and a half prior to local elections, the State Audit Office of Georgia presents the monitoring results on donations political parties have received.
Nino Lomdjaria, acting general auditor of State Audit Office, said on September 13 that Georgian parties received more than 7,7 million GEL in donations starting from July 1 to September 12.
During this period, the Georgian Dream was donated 7, 343 000 GEL , European Georgia received 323, 675 GEL, Alliance of Georgian Patriots was donated 15, 600 GEL, the New Political Center (NPC) - 15,300 GEL, National Democratic Party - 12,204 GEL, National Forum - 9,215 GEL. Relatively less significant donations were made to the National Movement - 5,432 GEL. Democratic Movement - United Georgia received only 900 GEL, the United Communist Party of Georgia - 434 GEL, for Georgia’s Peace - 200 GEL, and the Republican Party of Georgia was donated 40 GEL.
The Georgian Dream commented that the party has received donations in full compliance with the law. According to the ruling party, the donations are transparent and everyone is entitled to have this information, however, the question from their side refers to the funds other political parties have raised. Furthermore, the ruling party accuses the opposition of money-laundering.
Sozar Subari, Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees, also believes that the questions should be addressed to other political parties on how the pre-election campaign have been implemented based on the donations they have declared. Tbilisi Mayor Candidate Kakhi Kaladze joined the statements of the team and advised the law enforcement agencies to get interested in the issue.
Georgian Dream MP Archil Talakvadze is also suspicious if other political parties have revealed all the donations they have used to conduct the pre-election campaign. Talakvadze says that the highest amount of donation to the ruling party is determined by the fact that the Georgian Dream has a higher number of supporters.
"In 2016 parliamentary elections the Georgian Dream party was supported by 856,000 citizens, which means that our party has too many supporters, correspondingly, the amount of the donation we received is logical,” stated Talakvadze.
In return, the opposition poses questions to the ruling team regarding the pre-election donations. They indicate to the pressure on businesses.
Media outlet Timer informs that in recent days, business representatives have been transferring the money ranging from 120, 000 GEL to 50,000 GEL to the ruling team.
Irakli Nadiradze, member of the National Movement, told a TV company Rustavi 2 "People who donate money to the Georgian Dream are those who received millions of GEL from the state budget without tenders and later, through ordinary people they made fake donations,” he said adding “It’s good that the Audit service is questioning this issue.”
According to Lomdjaria, the State Audit Office has questions regarding the revenues of 101 persons, out of which 14 have been called for interrogation by now. According to her, the agency has requested information about more than 100 persons, who have submitted donations, from the Revenue Office. As Lomdjaria explains, this way the agency will be able to check whether these persons really possessed the appropriate funds to donate.
Parties are obliged to provide their revenues including a full report on donations to the Monitoring Service. The amount of the donation from a natural person should not exceed 60,000 GEL per year, while from a legal entity – 120,000 GEL.
Local elections will be held in Georgia on October 21.