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GEL 23 mln Spent on Saakashvili's Re-Election Campaign
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 17 Jan.'08 / 17:41

GEL 22,986,081 (about USD 14.4 million) was spent on Mikheil Saakashvili’s re-election campaign, according to the campaign's official financial records submitted to the Central Election Commission (CEC) and seen by Civil.Ge.

The lion’s share was spent on political TV ads – GEL 12,469,530. This included production costs as well.

Between December 10 and December 22, Saakashvili used a total of 12 hours and 40 minutes of paid airtime for his political ads, according to media monitoring commissioned by the CEC. Thirty second primetime slots were the most expensive, varing in price from USD 715 to USD 9,350. The cheapest 30 second slots were between USD 120 and USD 220.

Campaign rallies, including concerts and renting meeting spaces, came next at GEL 3,601,174.

According to the financial record, GEL 2,322,552 was spent on print media ads and billboards; GEL 1,832,991 for printing promotional materials and flyers; campaign staff salaries – GEL 967,533 and other expenses, including communication and transport – GEL 1,643,054.

Only GEL 143,257 was spent commissioning public opinion research and consultancy services. A detailed list of expenses features two Tbilisi-based public opinion research firms commissioned by the Saakashvili campaign, BCG and  ACT, which were paid GEL 41,305 and GEL 67,968, respectively, for their services. The list, however, does not feature U.S. firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) Research, which was also commissioned by the Saakashvili campaign.

The Saakashvili campaign, according to the document, raised a total of GEL 22,986,118. 

101 individuals and 162 companies contributed. According to the law, a presidential candidate can raise no more than GEL 30,000 (about USD 18,000) from an individual and GEL 100,000 (about USD 62,500) from a company. The financial record includes a list of individuals and companies which contributed to the fund.

Other presidential candidates have yet to submit financial records - the deadline is February 18.

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