Individual and corporate donations for 2017 municipal polls. Photo: Civil.ge
Political parties and independent candidates registered for the October 21 municipal elections fundraised over GEL 15.33 million in individual and corporate donations in a period from July 1 to November 1, according to the State Audit Office, an independent institution in charge of the political finance monitoring.
According to the interim report of the State Audit Office released on November 6, 15 political parties received a total of GEL 15.13 million, while 48 independent mayoral nominees and majoritarian Sakrebulo candidates received a total of GEL 200 778 in donations.
The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party is leading in terms of individual and corporate contributions with GEL 13.8 million, over 91% of the overall amount of donations. The European Georgia is the second largest recipient of donations with GEL 951,833 that is 6.3% of the total amount of donations.
The United National Movement raised GEL 114,990 during the reporting period. The Alliance of Patriots received GEL 66,392, followed by the New Georgia – GEL 59,600; the Democratic Movement - United Georgia – GEL 40,399; the National Forum (the newly-established Development Movement ran on National Forum’s ticket) – GEL 39,182; the Labor Party – GEL 23,196; the National Democratic Party – GEL 12,204. The remaining six parties fundraised a total of GEL 13,843.
Among the independent candidates, Aleko Elisashvili, independent Tbilisi mayoral candidate, was the largest recipient of donations with GEL 89,554 (44% of total candidate donations). He is followed by independent mayoral candidate in Zugdidi, Domenti Sichinava, with GEL 50,150 (25%). Independent Sakrebulo majoritarian candidate in Samgori single-mandate constituency of Tbilisi, Gulo Zumbadze, raised GEL 25,400 (13%).
According to Georgia’s law on political unions, all political parties, which cleared a 3% threshold during the last parliamentary or municipal elections (independently or as part of election blocs) are also eligible for budgetary funding.
The State Audit Office reported on November 6 that 14 political parties received GEL 7.9 million from the state budget during the pre-election period from August 22 through October 21.
The United National Movement was the largest recipient of budgetary funding with slightly over GEL 1 million. The ruling Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia comes next with GEL 925,465, followed by the United Democratic Movement (a nominal political party under Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement - United Georgia ) – GEL 675,055; the European Georgia – GEL 626,810; the Democratic Movement - United Georgia – GEL 623,892; the Alliance of Patriots – GEL 576,131 and Labor Party – GEL 508,481. The seven remaining parties received almost equal sums of funding, ranging from GEL 399,000 to GEL 445,000.
Total funding of political parties, including the budgetary revenues, as well as the monetary and non-monetary donations, during the pre-election period exceeded GEL 18 million with Georgian Dream leading the list with GEL 9.85 million, followed by the European Georgia with GEL 1.46 million; the United National Movement – GEL 1.28 million; the United Democratic Movement – GEL 675,555; the Democratic Movement - United Georgia – GEL 660,256; the Alliance of Patriots – GEL 642,673; the Labor Party – GEL 531,674; the New Georgia – 491,293; the National Forum/Development Movement – GEL 480,490; Republican Party – GEL 440,099.