Georgian Dream (GD) coalition is the largest recipient of monetary donations this year, followed by Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement-United Georgia (DMUG) party, which received over six times more funding from its donors than the United National Movement (UNM).
On top of GEL 1.85 million which the parties within the GD coalition received in the first seven months of 2013, the coalition added GEL 2.15 million to its coffers from August till October 15, according to filings with the State Audit Office, which is in charge of monitoring political finances.
Lion’s share of these funds was raised by PM Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party. In a period between August and October 15, GDDG received GEL 1,472,895 in monetary donations; the remaining GEL 677,642 was raised by the National Forum (GEL 141,136); Irakli Alasania’s Free Democrats party (GEL 354,797); Republican Party (GEL 181,598); Conservative Party reported just GEL 111 donation in the same period and the Industrialist Party reported no donations at all.
DMUG party, led by presidential candidate Nino Burjanadze, was receiving some relatively minor donations in the first half of this year, but major funds started coming in to the party’s coffers with the approach of the October 27 presidential election.
As of October 15, Burjanadze’s DMUG party received total of GEL 878,552 in monetary donations with lion’s share of this amount being raised since September.
In September-October, DMUG received GEL 860,137 in monetary donations, according to figures submitted by the party to the State Audit Office.
On top of that DMUG also reported “non-monetary donations” worth of GEL 64,507.
Non-monetary donations are for example if a party rents an office space free of charge; but it still has to be declared as a donation in an amount of market price of rented space.
Between September 2 and October 13 Burjanadze’s DMUG, which unlike some other parties is not eligible to state funding and free TV airtime for political ads, has spent at least GEL 854,258 on advertisement of which GEL 397,613 was spent on TV ads; GEL 381,226 on print advertising and GEL 7,404 on advertisements on the internet.
According to legislative amendments introduced this summer a political party or an initiative group, whose presidential candidate garners at least 10% of votes, will become eligible to state funding to cover campaign expenses in an amount of maximum GEL 1 million.
Outgoing President Saakashvili’s UNM party, which last year received over GEL 20.8 million in monetary donations, has so far raised GEL 140,000 this year.
UNM received these donations in October from 27 donors ten of which are UNM lawmakers: Giorgi Gviniashvili, Davit Darchiashvili, Shota Malashkhia, Giorgi Ochiauri and Zaza Kedelashvili, who have donated GEL 10,000 each, as well as Giorgi Baramidze (GEL 15,000), Sergo Ratiani (GEL 7,000), Zurab Chilingarashvili (GEL 5,000), Levan Bezhashvili (GEL 4,000) and Chiora Taktakishvili (GEL 3,000). UNM has also reported non-monetary donations worth GEL 17,600.