The messenger logo

Papuashvili Accuses Opposition Parties of Establishing Scheme with Fake NGOs for Illegal Foreign Donations

By Liza Mchedlidze
Thursday, February 29, 2024
The Chairman of the Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili, accused opposition parties of receiving illegal donations from abroad, stating that receiving funding from abroad in an election year is equivalent to interfering in the elections.

Papuashvili stated that opposition parties in Georgia have set up a scheme involving fake NGOs to receive illegal donations, with a significant portion of the opposition being directly financed from abroad. He emphasized that foreign interference, whether from Russia, the European Union, or the USA, undermines the election process in Georgia. Papuashvili called on donors involved in hidden schemes, citing the European Endowment for Democracy (EED) as an example, and urged the European Union and the European Commission to intervene to ensure fair elections. He stressed that stopping direct financing of parties from European channels is crucial to prevent election interference.

"Opposition parties have created a scheme through fake NGOs to receive illegal donations. Besides, in addition to these illegal donations, we are talking about financing from abroad. In fact, what we are observing, as it turns out, is that a large part of the opposition is directly financed from abroad. Taking into account that it is an election year, this is equivalent to foreign interference in the elections.

Foreign interference is one of the expected threats in these elections, primarily originating from Russia. However, I want to emphasize that regardless of where the intervention occurs - whether from within Russia, the European Union, or the USA - any interference constitutes meddling in the election process of the Georgian people and mirrors Russian tactics.

Once again, I call on donors who are involved in a hidden scheme and hide their funding, such as - I will name one - the European Endowment for Democracy (EED), which has its expenses covered but does not disclose, neither to the Georgian public nor to the citizens of the European Union. It seems that it directly finances the parties and interferes in the elections.

As you know, the proper conduct of elections is one of the components of the 9 priorities, and here we cannot deal with the problem alone. The European Union, the European Commission should intervene here, since the EED is an institution established by the European Union, in whose governance representatives of the European Parliament are strongly represented, including those directly connected to the National Assembly. The European Union should also intervene if our common desire is to have fair and honest elections. Direct financing of parties in Georgia from European channels should be prohibited and stopped. This is the responsibility of the European Union. If this is not stopped and the funding continues, it will harm the elections and there will be interference," Papuashvili stated.