Election Reform
20 October, 2011

Arrangement of funding is named as one of the significant factors of the election reform. To this end, several paragraphs were inserted in the new draft election code. However, the non-governmental sector believes that instead of ensuring financial transparency these paragraphs make it even more obscure.

As a reader is probably aware, the draft project sent to the Venice Commission included topics agreed on with a part of the opposition in the end of June, as well as topics authored solely

by the Authorities without any previous coordination with the opposition.

It must be noted that experts and politicians place huge emphasis on the factor of funds for pre-election campaigns and the voting itself because fairness and appropriateness of elections depends on it to an extent. It was this argument that led to the insertion of a specific instrument in the agreement text to enable possible extra funding sources for political parties. Yet, non-governmental organizations do not favor this instrument.

Three non-governmental organizations – GYLA, Fair Elections and Transparency International Georgia - who worked on the election changes – prepared the joint conclusion which, among other things, examined the issue of financing and unequivocally criticized the proposed change. The draft election code envisages doubling of the legally permitted limits for voluntary contributions to the election campaign fund. Namely, today the permitted limit of physical persons for voluntary contributions is GEL 60 000. In case of legal persons it is GEL 200 000.

“It is indistinct what circumstances have led to the doubling of current limits. Existence of the upper limit is a preventative tool to neutralize seeds of political corruption. Accordingly, the raising of the ceiling for the parties advices increased carefulness. In terms of the contributions, Georgia is one of the leaders anyway,” – the conclusion reads.

Moreover, according to the draft code, those parties who will overcome 5% election barrier will receive one million Lari from the State Budget to reimburse expenses of its pre-election campaign. The draft text also obliges the receiving party to spend 300 thousand from the above said one million Lari on TV ads.

“We believe that the compensation should not be a flat sum of money for every case. Rather, it must be proportional to the incurred expenses and be reimbursed on the basis of the relevantly submitted financial report,” – this is the recommendation of the non-governmental organizations.

The draft code stipulates that on the elections day funding of election subjects at election commissions of sub-district (“Saolko”) and neighborhood (“Saubno”) election stations will be done via the State Budget. Namely, every one of them at neighborhood and sub-district election stations will get 50 and 100 Lari respectively. This decision too is busted by the above said NGOs as completely unfounded.

“It is possible that an election subject may not have any representative in election commissions. Accordingly, paying to a political party without due consideration of such facts will be a very questionable practice. At the same time, there is no obligation for the paid party to return any unspent money,” – the conclusion points out.

It is noteworthy that these topics turned up in the draft law due to the agreement between the Authorities and the collaborating opposition. Even so, a larger part of the draft text is taken up by topics which were not agreed on at all. As far as the funding is concerned, there are several of such topics. Namely, the draft law sets forth a new rule which entitles the election administration to implement state procurement in the form of simplified purchases to ensure smoothness of the process during the election (referendum) period. On top of it, any appeal against deeds and decisions of CEC or the tender commission related to purchases cannot stop the purchase procedures. This is completely unacceptable for GYLA, Fair Elections and Transparency International Georgia.

“The suggested formula is not acceptable for us. Perhaps, as an exception, this is justified in case of extraordinary elections when the administration has to function within narrower time frames. Plus, it does not require additional legislative regulation because possibility of simplified procurement during narrow time frames is duly considered by the law on State Procurement,” – says the NGO conclusion.

The funding topic, among others, introduces permission for enterprises created with partial State participation to finance parties. According to the draft law, enterprises with less then 50% of State owned shares are allowed to give out voluntary contributions to parties. In contrast, the current legislation prohibits any enterprise with State budge shares to fund political parties election-wise. This innovation was met negatively by the opposition parties because State Budget may become an instrument of unjust discrimination.

“This norm is a sham. Funding from such enterprises greatly heightens the risk of the State support to this or that party. Therefore, we believe that such paragraph should not exist in the code in the first place. Any legal person with at least one State owned share should be prohibited from such contributions,” – demands the conclusion. The three NGOs accentuated the fact that the Authorities ignored many other, election-related topics, repeatedly highlighted in the following recommendations of international organizations:

- Creation of the special independent control body to check legality of funds given to parties either regularly or for election campaigns;

- Elaboration of better rules for financial reporting;

- Publicity;

- Transparency of money transferred by the party into the election fund of its own representative;

- Periodicity of report publishing, i.e. the bank account of the campaign fund should be published not only after the elections but also during the period of the pre-election campaign;

- Companies that won the State tenders in the year preceding the elections and in the election year, should be prohibited to make contributions to the parties; By the same token, companies which fund political parties should suspend their participation in State tenders in the election year and the next year;

- It must be clearly defined that the upper limit of the contribution includes the sum of the party account and the money transferred to the fund of its representative participating in the election.

Other Stories
International observers about the presidential election in Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia.
First Ladies of Independent Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia. It was the last election in which the president will be selected by popular vote.
Funny incidents on Election Day in Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia.
Deadline for the second round of presidential elections in Georgia is December 2
Presidential elections were held on the 28th of October in Georgia. None of the candidates managed to get majority of votes, so the second round of elections is to be appointed.
The USA National Security Advisor John Bolton is in Georgia
National Security Advisor of the United States John Bolton visited Georgia today.
People are detained at the Cannabis Festival
Today, Georgian political movement Girchi holds an event in the Dedaena Park called the Cannabis Festival.
Top safest countries and Georgia is among them - new survey says
Georgia is among the safest countries in the world. This fact is substantiated by various surveys and researches.
Who is interested in the cultivation of cannabis in Georgia?
Several weeks ago the government announced about its initiative to legalize the cultivation of medical marijuana in Georgia.
Fight in Gori – head of administration uses a bin full of manure
There was an incident yesterday in Gori municipality, Georgia at the entrance of the municipality building.
2 Georgian detainees freed from the Tskhinvali prison
Georgian detainees Maia Otinashvili and Akaki Dotiashvili are freed from the Tskhinvali prison. They had been accused of illegally crossing a so-called the borderline into the occupied Tskhinvali region.
Georgia might provide Far East countries with armored vehicles
LEPL State Military Scientific-Technical Center "Delta" might provide several Far East countries with armored vehicles, - “Delta” has informed InterPressNews about it.
Who can be the next first lady of Georgia?
On the 28th of October, presidential elections will be held in Georgia. The last elections in October 2013 resulted in a victory for Giorgi Margvelashvili, a candidate of the Georgian Dream (the ruling party).
Another Georgian kidnapped at the occupational line, stays detained
Maia Otinashvili (a mother of three children) was detained in her own garden on the 19th of September. Eyewitnesses claim that she was kidnapped by armed people with masks.
Fight broke out in the Georgian TV show
Fight in the Georgian Show Archevani (a choice) broke out between the guests yesterday.
7 amendments that come in force today in Georgia
On the 1st of October, 7 new amendments come in force in Georgia.
Speaker of the parliament plays Knockin' on Heaven's Door
What do the politicians do when they have free time? It is an interesting issue in every country.
What are the new New Year decorations for Tbilisi
New Year decorations and its price in Tbilisi is always a matter of discussion in the capital.
Mamuka Bakhtadze gives a speech at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly
Mamuka Bakhtadze, the prime minister of Georgia is attending the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly from the 24th of September.
Georgia will ban use, import and production of plastic bags
The Georgian government has decided to tighten rules regulating use of plastic bags in Georgia.
The parliament returns to Tbilisi
The Parliament of Georgia will continue working in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia from January 2019. Currently, the building is located in Kutaisi (west Georgia).
Mamuka Bakhtadze is visiting the USA within the working visit
The Georgian PM Mamuka Bakhtadze Brought a wreath to the tomb of the Georgian military serviceman John Malkhaz Shalikashvili.
Use of plastic bags to be reduced from the 1st of October
Within the framework of the Green Economics and Environmental Protection Policy the Georgian government has approved new regulations
Four Russian Journalists have not been allowed to enter Georgia
Three members of the Russian delegation were not allowed to enter Georgia as this would have violated the Law on the Occupied Territories of Georgia.
Tbilisi sign may appear on the Funicular hill
Hollywood has become a source of inspiration for many people worldwide. A similar idea from a Tbilisi citizen sounds very clever and attractive.
Russia was at an undeclared war with Georgia for years - Matthew Bryza
I think anybody who has observed how Russia has been conducting its war in Ukraine should realize that Russia was at war with Georgia, an undeclared war for years,
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30