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Election Campaign Funds
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 Jun.'10 / 15:10

Election campaign of those five parties, which have cleared 5% electoral threshold in the May 30 local elections, was worth of up to GEL 16 million, almost 90% of which is the ruling National Movement's share, according to the campaign financial record submitted by the parties to the Central Election Commission.

Campaign cost of Alliance for Georgia, whose leader Irakli Alasania came second with 19% of votes in the Tbilisi mayoral race after the incumbent Gigi Ugulava, was GEL 136,600 - less than other four parties have spent.

According to the law, a party can raise no more than GEL 30,000 from a single individual and no more than GEL 100,000 from a single company. The financial records includes a list of individuals and companies which contributed to the fund.

Parties' campaign expenses include not only the sum spent as a result of donations from contributors, but also market price of non-monetary contributions made by donors in various forms, like providing office space or publishing campaign banners and flayers for free.

Ruling Party

According to the ruling National Movement party's financial record, it has spent total of GEL 14 million in a period between April 8 and June 7.

The bulk of this sum - GEL 10.13 million - was spent on TV ads, which also includes ads' production costs.

The ruling party commissioned ads to Touch Media, an ad sales arm of Imedi TV, with total worth of GEL 4.75 million; Rustavi 2 TV - GEL 4.71 million and the Georgian Public Broadcaster - GEL 499,915.

GEL 730,230 was spent on campaign rallies, including concerts and renting meeting spaces; GEL 629,970 - for printing promotional materials and flyers; campaign staff salaries – GEL 609,600; GEL 493,800 was spent on print media ads and billboards.

The ruling party spent total of GEL 351,500 for public opinion research and consultancy services. In particular, the ruling party paid GEL 20,000 and GEL 18,600 to Tbilisi-based polling firms ACT and IPM, respectively.

GEL 312,888 was paid to the U.S.-based research and strategic consulting firm, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, which was first hired by the ruling party for the January, 2008 presidential elections.

About 92% of the ruling party's funding, according to its financial record, came from the party's fund itself; the rest came from nine companies with most of them operating in road construction business.

Christian-Democratic Movement

Christian-Democratic Movement's (CDM) campaign expenses amounted to GEL 683,500, which also included GEL 400,000 - sum spent by four contributor companies to buy political advertisement airtime for CDM on the two most watched nationwide broadcasters - Imedi TV and Rustavi 2 TV; each has received GEL 200,000.

These four companies have each spent GEL 100,000 for this purpose.

These companies are: Miler and Company, a clothes manufacturer in Tbilisi outskirts focusing on production of various uniforms; MG Tbilisi Ltd, a construction firm, which was a state contractor for several times, including for construction works at local administration building of the capital city's Isani-Samgori district last September; Eleco Ltd, an electrical equipment supplier firm and a Tbilisi-based security systems supplier firm, GSC.   
 
CDM has spent GEL 102,500 on advertisement in print media and campaign billboards; GEL 71,370 - for printing promotional materials and flyers and GEL 21,750 - for renting space for indoor meetings and rallies.  

Industrialist Party 
 
Industry Will Save Georgia (Industrialists) has spent GEL 208,000. This amount, however, does not include non-monetary donation with total of GEL 750,000 made by nine companies, which bought political ad airtime for the Industrialists on two nationwide broadcasters – Rustavi 2 TV and Imedi TV.

In the initial financial record submitted to the CEC, which was also posted on the CEC’s website, the Industrialists indicated that this ad airtime with total of GEL 750,000 was donated directly by the Rustavi 2 TV and Imedi TV. But after the story about campaign funds appeared on Civil.ge (after midnight on June 15), the Industrialists Party contacted Civil.ge afternoon on June 15 and said that they had made “a mistake” in complying the financial record. Rustavi 2 TV has also denied that it had donated anything to the party. The Central Election Commission has removed the initial financial papers of the Industrialists Party from its website shortly after that and replaced it with updated version in which it is indicated that nine companies have bought ad airtime for the party on Rustavi 2 TV and Imedi TV. Ads worth of GEL 375,000 was bought on each TV station.

Tbilisi-based security firm, Va Maragva, has donated GEL 99,930 to the Industrialist party.

Alliance for Georgia

Alliance for Georgia's campaign cost amounted to GEL 136,600. The Alliance raised total of GEL 104,570, plus non-monetary contribution with worth of about GEL 42,800, according to its financial report.

The Alliance raised these funds mainly from 90 individuals; GEl 8,500 and GEL 3,500 were donated to the fund by Republican Party and New Rights Party, respectively - the two parties, which make up the Alliance togather with Irakli Alasania's Our Georgia-Free Democratics party and Georgia's Way party.

It has spent most of its campaign funds on printing promotional materials, including banners and flyers - GEL 79,112.

GEL 37,700 was spent on TV ads (including production cost). The Alliance for Georgia bought ad airtime on Tbilisi-based Kavkasia, where political ad prices were much lower than on nationwide broadcasters, with total worth of GEL 25,808.

It has spent GEL 12,000 for public opinion research; the Alliance for Georgia hired Tbilisi-based Institute of Social Studies and Analysis for that purpose. 
 
Up to GEL 5,000 was spent on ads in print media and billboards and only GEL 780 was spent on renting meeting spaces for campaign rallies.

National Council

National Council's (involving Conservative Party, Party of People and ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli's Movement for Fair Georgia) campaign was worth of GEL 260,200, according to its financial records.

Ex-PM Nogaideli's party was the major contributor of the National Council's campaign fund, including through providing non-monetary contribution mainly in form of office space throughout the country.

It has spent GEL 148,000 on printing promotional materials and GEL 8,800 on TV ads (including production cost).

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