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Most Donors Of Georgian Dream Were Large Businesses Having Close Ties With The Ruling Party - TI Georgia

01.03.23 13:00
Transparency International Georgia published a report on Quarterly Political Donations. According to the document, from 1 October to 31 December 2022, all political parties in Georgia received a total GEL 742 230 in donations, of which GEL 370 000 (50%) went to the ruling party, followed by Conservative Movement (Alt-Info) with GEL 158,098, and the third is Lelo for Georgia with GEL 151 337.

During the reporting period, Georgian Dream received a donation of 370,000 GEL. Most donors were large business groups having close ties with the ruling party.

On 8 and 14 December 2022, Giorgi and Jemal Chkonia and Malkhaz Dumbadze donated GEL 100 000 to Georgian Dream. This group of individuals contributed GEL 555 000 to the ruling party in the previous years. Giorgi Chkonia and Malkhaz Dumbadze have consistently stood out by donating tens of thousands of GEL to Georgian Dream on the same day prior to the election since 2016. In 2012, Chkonia and Dumbadze donated GEL 75 000 to the organization affiliated with the then ruling party – “Georgia is not for sale”.

The group above is connected to each other through common business interests, specifically via Figoil LLC and Gza LLC. Among them, Gza LLC is particularly notable, the 100% owner of the company is Giorgi Chkonia and the director is Malkhaz Dumbadze. This company has won a number of tenders worth more than GEL 222 million and has been awarded simplified procurement contracts worth GEL 9.5 million. Nearly half of the tenders, totaling GEL 102 million, were granted within the last four months. During the same period, other companies of Chkonia, “Chateau Kvirike" and “Batumi Central” received contracts worth GEL 51 112 through simplified procurement.

In addition, Giorgi Chkonia's companies have received financing within the framework of various state programs, including Enterprise Georgia (GEL 153 066), Preferential Agrocredit Project (GEL 181 237), Co-financing of Processing and Storage Enterprises (GEL 201 735).

On November 25, 2022, Joni Jincharadze and Marina Dekhtiarevi donated a total of GEL 40,000 to Georgian Dream (GEL 20 000 each). They are related to the companies – HGroup Services and HGroup Development. Dekhtiarevi is the director of HGroup Development and Jincharadze is the director of HGroup Services and owns a 5% share. Both companies are registered at the same address and the largest shareholders are citizens of the Russian Federation (a total of 6 persons, one of whom is a partner of both companies with 40% and 50% shares).

The HGroup Development LLC plans to construct a residential area spanning 16,000 square meters on the hill of Salibauri village near Batumi, overlooking the port. During the donation period, the detailed project development plan was submitted for approval to the Khelvachauri City Council, which was unanimously approved by the City Council on 12 December.

This case requires a thorough investigation by the respective authorities in order to dispel the suspicion that the donated money did not actually belong to Dekhtiarevi and Jincharadze, but to the Russian citizens who are shareholders of the development company, and the purpose of the donation was to obtain a construction permit. Aside from an alleged corruption scheme, there are additional indications of legal violations. Particularly, it is unlawful to make donations through intermediaries or to finance political parties with funds from foreign citizens.

On 4 and 6 October 2022, Givi Lebanidze, Davit Galuashvili and Manana Nadiradze donated GEL 100 000 to Georgian Dream. They are connected to Cartu and Bidzina Ivanisvhili. In particular, Galuashvili is the Deputy Director of the Cartu Bank, Lebanidze is the current Director and Nadiradze is the former Director. Over the course of the past decade, they have made 28 separate donations to the ruling party, totaling GEL 800 000.