Who funds political parties in Georgia
13 December, 2017
The following key findings were identified during our research which covered the period between June 1 and November 1, 2017:
- Political parties received a total of GEL 15,480,402 in donations, of which GEL 11,189,128 (72%) was donated by 1,117 natural persons and GEL 4,291,274 by 68 legal entities;
- The Georgian Dream received the largest portion of total donations – GEL 14,124,553 (91%), followed by the European Georgia with GEL 950,833, the United National Movement with GEL 122,496, the Alliance of Patriots with GEL 66,392 and the National Forum with GEL 39,182;
- The Georgian Dream received 15 times more donations than the party with second most donations – European Georgia and 10 times more than all other political parties combined.
- 61 legal entities out of 68 donated a total of GEL 4,285,543 to the Georgian Dream. Only seven legal entities donated a total of GEL 5,711 to the Alliance of Patriots, National Forum and European Georgia. Out of 1,117 natural persons, 537 donated to the Georgian Dream. Notably, 279 out of these 537 natural persons are connected to 782 companies;
- There were 42 noteworthy instances when two or more donors had a connection to one another and had jointly donated a minimum of GEL 20,000;
- There are 30 contributors who had donated to the United National Movement in 2012 but have chosen to contribute to the Georgian Dream in 2017.
- Natural and legal entities connected to Bidzina Ivanishvili donated GEL 565,000 to the Georgian Dream in 2017. In 2016-2017, this amount exceeded GEL 1 million;
- Five co-owners of LTD Polimeri and Polimeri 1 contributed a total of GEL 400,000 to the ruling party in 2016-2017. These two companies are singled out since they were beneficiaries of the government program Produce in Georgia. On September 29, within the scope of this program, the government gave to Polimeri 1 the ownership of state-owned 2,990 m2 non-agricultural land plot and accompanying buildings in Kvemo Ponichala, Tbilisi for a symbolic price of GEL 1;
- In 2016-2017, Vazha Tsigroshvili and his business partner, Bejan Anuashvili, have donated a total of GEL 170,000 to the Georgian Dream. These two individuals deposited a total of GEL 75,000 on the ruling party’s account last year on the same day – August 31. Two weeks after this donation was made, the Prosecutor’s Office announced that one of its cases had been resolved. As a result, 13 automobiles and 5 quad bikes were released from state ownership and transferred to Vazha Tsigroshvili.
- On August 24, 2017, directors of LTD Jeu Group, Giorgi Markoishvili and Nino Kikabidze, contributed a total of GEL 50,000 in donations to the Georgian Dream. Jeu Group is a large company that carries out road construction works, mainly in the capital city. Since 2015, Jeu Group has received nearly GEL 7 million from simplified public procurement contracts. Moreover, the company secured the largest contract in October 2017 – two months after the company’ directors had donated to the Georgian Dream;
- Two co-owners of LTD Gzamsheni-18, Teimuraz Jakhva and Vakhtang Chanturia, donated a total of GEL 25,000 to the Georgian Dream on September 5, 2017. Gzamsheni-18 is a large road construction company that has secured nearly GEL 10 million in simplified public procurement contracts in 2017, including the largest contract amounting to GEL 4.6 million. Notably, this contract was secured three weeks after the company had donated to the ruling party.
- From June 1, 2017, 27 public officials and their family members have donated more than GEL 5,000 each to political parties. For the purposes of this research, we analyzed public officials and their family members whose contributions constituted a significant amount of their declared income. With this methodology, we singled out two contributors, who had contributed over half of their family’s net income from the previous year.