Georgia’s ruling United National Movement party received this year more financial donations than any other political group, followed by the opposition coalition led by Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Law bans corporate funding and a Georgian citizen can donate to political parties maximum of GEL 60,000 (about USD 36,800) per year.
The state audit service, which is also in charge of monitoring political finances, released on Wednesday information about donations, submitted to the agency by those parties which have received donations in a period between January 1 and June 19, 2012.
The ruling United National Movement (UNM) party received GEL 1.74 million (slightly over USD 1 million) in financial donations from 73 individuals, plus GEL 22,500 non-monetary donation, according to the party’s declaration filed to the state audit agency.
Most of the UNM donors were contributing large amounts of sum to the party with fourteen of them donating maximum allowed GEL 60,000.
Some of the largest contributors to the ruling party are owners and executives of various companies, including of those construction firms, which previously, when corporate donations were allowed by the law, were donating to the ruling party.
Three senior executives from gold and copper mining company, Madneuli, including its financial director, procurements director and production director, donated to the ruling party total of GEL 180,000 (GEL 60,000 each) and one former senior executive, Giorgi Devadze, who at the time of donation in May was Madneuli’s CEO, contributed GEL 60,000.
Five political parties (Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia; Republican Party; Our Georgia-Free Democrats; Conservative Party; National Forum), which are united in Bidzina Ivanishvili-led opposition coalition and a public movement, founded by Ivanishvili, received total of GEL 1.17 million (about USD 719,700) in financial donations.
Georgian Dream public movement, which is not a political party but has to file its financial declaration to the state audit agency, because of its affiliation with Ivanishvili, received total of GEL 492,917 (about USD 302,500) from 225 individuals.
What makes public movement Georgian Dream’s donation structure different from other political groups, is that although there are about dozen of individuals whose denotations to the public movement range from GEL 10,000 to GEL 60,000, there are about 135 citizens who have donated to the Georgian Dream public movement less than GEL 100 and many of them an amount ranging from GEL 1 to GEL 50.
Ivanishvili's party Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia, which was launched in late April, received total of GEL 43,923 in donations from five individuals, among them the party’s chairperson Manana Kobakhidze, who donated GEL 10,562.
Republican Party received total of GEL 127,215 financial donation from 24 individuals, including GEL 16,000 from its chairman Davit Usupashvili; plus GEL 20,000 non-monetary donation in a form of office space from Bidzina Ivanishvili’s brother Alexander.
Our Georgia-Free Democrats received total of GEL 185,934 in financial donations from 22 individuals, plus non-financial donation in a form of office space worth GEL 20,000 from Alexander Ivanishvili. Key figures within the party were the largest sponsors with party leader Irakli Alasania donating GEL 30,000.
Conservative Party received total of GEL 171,518 in financial donations from thirteen individuals, including GEL 57,640 from its leader Zviad Dzidziguri and GEL 4,837 in party membership fees.
National Forum received total of GEL 151,249 in financial donations from 44 individuals, plus GEL 20,000 in a non-financial donation from Alexander Ivanishvili.
Christian-Democratic Movement, which is a leading party in a small parliamentary minority group, received GEL 50,000 donation from seven individuals, including GEL 20,000 from one of its leaders MP Levan Vepkhvadze.
New Rights Party received GEL 116,451 from nine individuals, including GEL 30,000 from its leader Davit Gamkrelidze.
Among the parties, which received a significant amount of donation in the first six months of this year is Free Georgia, led by Kakha Kukava. The party received GEL 216,819 from nine individuals.