Some Political Ads Might be Illegal
Monitoring of free political ads for the October 28 Presidential Elections aired on Georgian TV channels revealed alleged violation of Georgian legislation. The content of free ads of four qualified political parties seems to be aimed at promoting Grigol Vashadze, a presidential candidate. Such an action can be considered a political donation in favor of Vashadze. However, the Georgian legislation does not allow political parties to donate.
Prior to the Presidential Elections, 10 political parties (including five qualified parties) formed a coalition named “The Power is in Unity”. This coalition presented Grigol Vashadze as its presidential candidate. However, Georgian Election Code does not allow political parties to create an electoral bloc, which will be able to nominate a common candidate. Therefore, only one party the United National Movement could officially nominate Grigol Vashadze (#5). The remaining four qualified parties still decided to nominate their own candidates just formally in order to get free time for ads and state funding for their electoral representatives. The mentioned four parties are:
#1 Mikheil Antadze – the Movement: State for People
#13 Zviad Mekhatishvili – the Georgian Christian-Conservative Party
#22 Zviad Baghdavadze – the Civil Movement – New Georgia
#27 Zviad Iashvili – the National Democratic Party
Transparency International Georgia studies political ads on regular basis. This time the study revealed that the political ads of the above-mentioned four electoral subjects are more a campaigning for Grigol Vashadze rather than for their own candidates. Vashadze is both directly depicted in these ads or his name and electoral number appear at the end of videos (see attached screenshots).
As a result, we have a case when one political party gives certain benefits to other, which is an act of donating. The Georgian legislation does not allow political parties to donate.
We call on:
- The State Audit Office and the Georgian National Communications Commission to study this case and make relevant decisions;
- The above-mentioned four electoral subjects to stop airing of such political ads.