Total of GEL 6.1 million (about USD 3.68 million) is allocated this year for fourteen political parties, which are eligible for state funding, of which GEL 2.17 million (about USD 1.3 million) goes to six parties united in the Georgian Dream coalition and GEL 2.03 million to UNM (about USD 1.22 million).
State funding, according to the regulations existing for years already, is allocated to “qualified political parties” – those, which have won at least 4% of the vote in the most recent parliamentary elections and at least 3% of the vote in the last local elections. Threshold for becoming “qualified party” will be reduced from 4% to 3% by the next parliamentary elections, according to planned legislative amendments.
Funding from the state budget is distributed via two sources – the Central Election Commission (CEC) and the CEC-established Center of Electoral Systems Development, Reforms and Trainings (CESDRT); funds from this latter source, according to the law, should be used by the eligible parties for the purpose of covering expenses related to research, training, organizing conferences and various regional projects. Fourteen parties receive total of GEL 4,881,997 via CEC and GEL 1,220,689 from CESDTR in 2013.
Six parties from the Georgian Dream coalition receive total of GEL 2,170,020 of which GEL 463,670 goes to PM Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party and the rest is distributed evenly between five other parts of the coalition (Republican Party; Our Georgia-Free Democrats; National Forum; Conservative Party and Industrialists) with each receiving GEL 341,270.
President Saakashvili’s UNM receives total of GEL 2,030,905 in state funding this year.
The rest is distributed between seven other parties, which became eligible to state funding based on 2010 local election results.
Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM) and virtually unknown party Christian-Democratic People’s Party receive GEL 318,890 each; a small and little-known European Democrats – GEL 326,150. These three parties run jointly in the same bloc in 2010 local elections.
New Rights Party receives GEL 220,313 and Georgia’s Way, founded by ex-foreign minister Salome Zourabichvili – GEL 206,943. Both of these parties were united in a bloc together with the Republican Party and Our Georgia-Free Democrats during the 2010 local elections.
Now actually defunct Movement for Fair Georgia receives and People’s Party receive GEL 255,281 each; both were united in a bloc in 2010 local elections. People’s Party leader, Koba Davitashvili, is now GD lawmaker who got his MP seat not as a representative of his party, but as a result of being in GD’s party-list.
Public funding to some political groups will most likely increase this year as Parliament has already passed with its first and second readings amendment to the election code envisaging allocating funds to presidential candidates, who will garner at least 10% of votes in the October election to reimburse their pre-election campaign expenses in an amount of maximum GEL 1 million (about USD 604.000).