POLITICS
FINANCING PARTIES WHO CROSS 5% MARGIN
07 July, 2011

 

Mikheil Machavariani, Parliamentary Vice Speaker speaks about European practice

The Majorities’ proposal on improving of election environment turned up to be so attractive for ‘Christian-Democrats’ and ‘New Rightists’ that they couldn’t reject it. According to Georgian Constitution the number of parliamentarians is determined to be 190 (83 deputies are elected by majoritarian system from one mandate election districts and 107 – by proportional system). The election subject who crosses the election barrier will get GEL 1 million from State budget to cover the

election campaign expanses.


Here is an interview with Mikheil Machavariani, Parliamentary vice-speaker:

M.M. – The initiative of Davit Bakradze, speaker of Parliament to set up a group that would write a new election code was responded by sixteen parties. Eight political parties decided to present a united position at the negotiations. After all the parties fixed their position we started individual negotiations and then it turned out that in case the positions of the parties and authorities remained intact no agreement would be possible. For this reason steps were taken to reach compromise.

Despite being aware that they would be sharply criticized and blamed of lots of things, one part of opposition made bold steps. These parties have learnt something from the past and accepted the proposal that was much better than changing nothing. In the last count other oppositional parties will see that it was a right step.

Q. – Proposing GEL 1 million to the parties was dubbed as a dirty offer to bribe the opposition.

M.M. – This proposition is 5-6 years old and it has only now been translated into reality. The idea of post-election financing was born at the so-called Strasbourg agreement with participation of political parties, NGOs and media. This idea was proposed by the ‘Eight’ and agreed. The principle, according to which a party spends money and in case it crosses the barrier it will receive the sum, is functional in some European countries.

Q. – As they say, the authorities have actually blackmailed the opposition when saying that financing would go only to those who’d sign the agreement.

M.M. – Those who cross the 5% barrier will get financing. It’s a European practice. Several years ago we passed a law according to which qualified subjects would be financed by the budget. What’s that ado about? Oppositional ‘Eight’ themselves asked for financing, we agreed but now they say it’s bribing and filthy proposal.

Q. – According to opposition it’s not only due to a million…

M.M. – Surveys in our country are mainly carried out by NDI and IRI. I’m sure these organizations won’t forge the results. They charge reliable organizations with carrying out of these surveys and believe me GELAP won’t do anything to stain its reputation.

Together with the opposition we offered our people how to make the future better. We set up a condition that will protect their choice. Now we are facing the most difficult procedure – to introduce these amendments into the law; this will take at least one and a half months.

Q. – Oppositional ‘Six’ is planning to start popular movement.

M.M. – An oppositional party should get ready to win the elections, not for revolution and coup. The rating of ‘National Movement’ is well known to me, I can say nothing about the others. Let everybody take care of its 5% barrier. I don’t care about the percentage of others.

Q. – I’d like to ask you about Irakli Okruashvili, ex-Minister of Defense who is abroad now; criminal prosecution has started and they speak about his extradition.

M.M. – I think the prosecutor’s office had enough evidence to start criminal prosecution. The secret recordings, evidences and testimonies published by Interior Ministry wouldn’t be left without reaction.

Q. – Do you think the French side will extradite Okruashvili to Georgia?

M.M. – There is no talk about extradition yet.

Q. – But you supported Guram Chakhvadze’s demand to have Okruashvili extradited.

M.M. – I supported the pathos of Chakhvadze’s suggestion but I didn’t demand Okruashvili’s extradition.

 

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