NGO-Statement on the Creation of the Charity Foundation Komagi15 May, 2012
Transparency International Georgia, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, ISFED, the coalition Free Choice and Multinational Georgia are concerned that a new charity fund might be misused to influence voters by the opposition coalition Georgian Dream.
Several media outlets have recently reported about the creation of the charity Komagi. On May 14, the daily newspaper Rezonansi reported that leaders of the Georgian Dream coalition were discussing the future activities of Komagi, associating the fund with the opposition movement.
Rezonansi reports that the organization Komagi will provide financial and legal aid to citizens who have been persecuted because of their political views. Rezonansi quotes Sozar Subari, a leading figure of the Georgian Dream, saying that the fund will provide a lawyer to any citizen who has been assaulted and that it will cover costs of medical treatment and other expenses. Furthermore, it will fully compensate for social assistance that was withdrawn as a result of political activism and for lost salary income. Depending on the need, the fund will allocate GEL 1,500 to 5,000 per case and month, according to the newspaper report.
Georgian law bans political parties from directly or indirectly offering, promising or providing money, services or other advantages to their constituents in order to prevent the buying of votes.
We urge all political actors to refrain from any activities that could be perceived as bribing of voters by offering free services or gifts in order to increase their public support. Providing any monetary or non-monetary advantages might have a significant impact on voters’ behavior and their relationships to political parties and candidates.