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TI-Georgia: GD Donations Drop 95% in Q1 2024

On May 21, Transparency International – Georgia, a local watchdog, released its quarterly newsletter on political donations from January 1 to March 31, according to which donations to the ruling Georgian Dream” party in the first quarter of 2024, 20 times less than the previous quarter, amounting to GEL 447 thousand (about USD 163 thousand), but still accounting for 37% of all political donations. The watchdog notes that most prominent among the party’s donors are the shareholders of companies that receive millions in state tenders or large subsidies through various state programs.

The parties received GEL 1,224,111(about USD 447,646), which is eight times less than the previous quarter. Georgian Dream leads with the most donations, Lelo comes second with GEL 445,500, and United National Movement comes in third with GEL 170,720. TI Georgia reports that during the reporting time, GEL 12,800 was received by the openly pro-Russian, newly founded party “Solidarity for Peace.”

Regarding the donations to GD, four shareholders donated a total of GEL 222,000 in Q1 of 2024, while their companies won GEL 81 million in state tenders in the last six months. For example, ex-UNM MP Sergo Khabuliani donated GEL 40,000 to GD, while his company, “Tsekuri,” LTD, while the company won GEL 65 million in tenders this year. Davit Devadze and Otar Putkaradze donated GEL 77,000 to GD, while their company “Bondi-2009” received GEL 7,034 million in the last six months.

Five companies whose shareholders donate to GD received large subsidies from various state programs. For example, the shareholders of the companies “Chateau Mukuzani” and “Wine Bliss”, GD donors Kakhaber Mamanishvili and Bakuri Mitichashvili donated GEL 76,000, while their companies received GEL 1,641 million subsidies through state-sponsored agricultural programs in 2017-2023.

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