State Audit Office, which also monitors political party finances, said it will ask court to fine a ruling GDDG party member and its affiliated organization with GEL 4,000 each for allegedly illegal donations.
Citing violation of party funding rules, the state audit agency will also seek to fine one donor of the Alliance of Patriots with GEL 183,200 and four donors of State for People, party led by opera singer Paata Burchuladze, with total of GEL 39,000.
The state audit agency said that a member of the Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo) from the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) ruling party, Rima Beradze, and group called Georgian Dream-Healthy Future organized in late June medical examination free of charge for about 40 public school teachers with total worth of GEL 2,000. The State Audit Office said it considers the event was carried out for the purpose of giving political benefit to the party in the electoral campaign period and asked the court to fine Beridze and the organization Georgian Dream-Healthy Future with GEL 4,000 each.
Rima Beradze said she disagrees with the state audit agency’s findings and will dispute it in the court.
In respect of the Alliance of Patriots, the state audit agency claims that donation in an amount of GEL 91,600, which was formally registered as coming from several individuals, was in fact originating from a single source. The agency said that in order to bypass limit of GEL 60,000 donation, one of the members of the Alliance of Patriots gave money to several other individuals to then donate it to the Alliance of Patriots. The state audit agency seeks from the court to fine the donor with GEL 183,200 – twice the amount of sum involve in alleged illegal donation.
In respect of Burchuladze’s State for People, the state audit agency claims the party received “illegal donation” from four individuals – GEL 19,500 from each. The agency suspects that donations were in fact made from other source as the four individuals in question had no enough income to donate such amount of money to the party.
The State for People denies wrongdoing. “It [state audit agency’s decision] aims at scaring off potential donors from donating funds to the party,” said Davit Jandieri of the State for People.
Georgia’s political party funding rules, which were eased in 2013, allows corporate donations – legal entities, including companies, have the right to donate maximum of GEL 120,000 annually to political parties.
Donation from individual citizen is capped at GEL 60,000 annually.
In a period from June 8, when the election campaign formally started, to August 8, GDDG ruling party reported total of GEL 4.9 million in financial donations.
The ruling party is followed by the State for People with total of GEL 1.3 million donations in the same period.
New Political Center-Girchi and New Georgia, which are united in the election bloc with the State for People party since August 18, raised GEL 159,997 and GEL 253,379, respectively between June and early August.
Alliance of Patriots raised GEL 399,982 and United National Movement (UNM) – GEL 122,230 in the period between June 8 and August 8.