The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party and the United National Movement-led Strength in Unity bloc traded accusations over political party-affiliated NGOs, disclosing the names and the members of the organizations that are allegedly connected to various political forces.
On October 27, former Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani, and currently number four in the GD party list, accused 32 of the 129 local organizations registered to observe the polls of being either directly connected to or in some form affiliated with opposition parties.
Breaking the number down, Tsulukiani asserted that 20 organizations are tied to the United National Movement (UNM) party, for example, “Reformers’ Club,” founded by Dimitri Shashkin, who served at various ministerial positions in the UNM government, as well as “Platform 20/20” program director of which, Lasha Parulava was the head of UNM’s regional organization in Mtskheta during 2016 parliamentary elections.
Former Justice Minister said eight organizations are connected to the European Georgia (EG) party, including “Movement for Georgian Unity and Reunification,” which has Elene Ozashvili in its board, one of MP candidates in EG’s proportional list.
Tsulukiani also claimed that two organizations are affiliated with Giorgi Vashadze’s Strategy Aghmashenebeli party, namely “Observatory of Politics and Law” and “Free Vector,” while “Georgian Word” and “Protected and Informed Society” are affiliated with the Kremlin-friendly Alliance of Patriots.
In response to Tsulukiani’s allegations, Tamar Kordzaia of the Republican Party, part of the UNM-led Strength in Unity bloc, held a press briefing in on October 29, naming non-governmental organizations funded from the state budget, allegedly connected to the ruling party.
Kordzaia stated that in 2020, 30 local NGOs were funded through state provided grants, including “Analytical and Compilation Center for Elections and Political Technologies,” “Center for Regional Development and Support,” “Public Advocacy,” “Center for Democratic Changes” and “Unanimity for Public Rights.” Kordzaia said these are some of the GD-affiliated CSOs from extensive list of observing organizations.