(TBILISI)--The Georgian Dream ruling party plans to initiate changes in the political parties’ financing model, which enable about 20 political parties currently to receive budgetary funding.
Ruling Party Plans to Change Party Financing Model
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, March 14
The Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze admitted that the existing model of the party financing is “fitted to the interests of the ruling party.”
“Despite this we plan to introduce changes,” Kobakhidze said.
He claimed that the number of the political parties, which received the state funding, was “artificially created.”
“Political parties have been divided or merged to receive the budgetary money,” Kobakhidze said.
The opposition parties state that depriving them of the state funding will create serious problems for them.
Under the Georgian Dream leadership in 2016, the number of the political parties receiving state funding increased from 11 to 20, which cost about $4 million from the state budget annually.
State funding is available for 'qualified political parties' – referring to parties, which separately or together with others in an electoral bloc, gained more than 3% of votes in the Parliamentary Elections and 3% votes in the local self-Government elections.
The basic financing for qualified political parties is equivalent to $121,000. However, parties can gain more (or less if there are several parties in a bloc) funding based on the number of votes it received in the elections, the number of gained mandates, etc.
For example, if a party gained 6% of votes in the election it will receive $242,000 instead of the $121,000.
Parties that overcome mandatory thresholds in the elections will also receive one-off financing from the state budget that amounts to no less than $403,252 to cover pre-election expenses.
If a party list presented by a qualified election party was gender balanced it can also receive an additional $36,292.
A qualified political party will retain financing until the next elections.
Despite that some political parties failed to gain three percent of votes in Parliamentary Elections, they still managed to gain the status of 'qualified political party' based on the outcomes of the 2017 self-Government elections.