“Pre-election” Student Employment - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

“Pre-election” Student Employment

28 March, 2012

The amount of large-scale, one-time budgetary programs implemented by the government usually increases with the forthcoming of elections. Most recently such kind of a novelty appeared in a form of so called “Summer Job”, a new student summer employment program initiated by the President, which raises a lot of questions. It is possible that one of the main goals of this undertaking is to achieve electoral objectives by using state resources.  This conclusion stems from several factors.

The large-scale employment projects of this kind have been already implemented by the government several times and for some reason always in the pre-election period. Namely, similar projects took place before the October 5th 2006 local self-government elections, and prior to the January 5th 2008 Presidential elections and May 21st 2008 Parliamentary elections (see the table below).


Employment program

Approximate number of beneficiaries

Cost of the project



August- October 2006 -


Internship in private companies


50 000


24 Million Lari

October 5th 2006 local self-government elections


December 2007 - May 2008.


Training of 25-60 years old employees required for the private companies.


100 000


60 Million Lari

January 5th 2008 Presidential elections and  of May 21st 2008 Parliamentary elections


July – August 2012

Student employment -  “Summer Job”


25 000


12.5 Million Lari

October (presumably) 2012 Parliamentary elections

TI Georgia has questioned the effectiveness of the one-time initiatives during the previous years and noted that these budgetary programs were probably implemented bearing the electoral goals in mind. The same tendency has continued to appear in case of the “Summer Job” program as well.

The new student employment program is to employ 25,000 students for one month with remuneration of 500 Lari and will be implemented two months before the 2012 Parliamentary elections – from 20th of July to 20th of August.

The logo of the employment program also indicates its pre-electoral character, in which the Latin letter “S” is very similar to the “United National Movement’s” electoral number – 5. At the same time, the cases of complicated registration for the program, as well as possible facts of preliminary agreements between students’ self-government, local administrative bodies and the youth wing of the ruling party, make this initiative even more politicized.  

One of the members of the students’ self-government has unofficially confirmed to TI Georgia that a day before the registration started on a web-site, the lists of student’s of self-government representatives were prepared and sent to the Ministry of Education till the late night. One group of students has protested the selling of places in the summer program.

Students’ employment program requires significant budgetary resources, but its long-term effectiveness is less proved. At the same time, this initiative pales the line between the state and the ruling party, which contradicts obligations taken by Georgia under OSCE Copenhagen document

In our opinion, such initiatives damage just and equal pre-election environment for the political unions. The government of Georgia should express a good will by avoiding the implementation of such kind of one-time and spontaneous budgetary projects right before elections and ensure equal conditions for all political unions.

Author: Levan Natroshvili