TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s party finance watchdog claims it obtained information about the financial activities of the Georgian Dream movement from the National Bank.
The body released a report Tuesday which showed how much money opposition financier Bidzina Ivanishvili has spent on advertisement in various newspapers and TV not affiliated with the government.
As DFWatch has reported, there are some who question where this information came from, and whether the control body had the legal authority to base its report on unofficial information.
The report says Ivanishvili and his Georgian Dream movement refused to give the information to the Chamber of Control (CoC), and therefore the CoC obtained the information from ‘alternative sources.’
Thursday CoC spokesperson Natia Mogeladze declared that they have received that information from the National Bank.
“The Georgian Chamber of Control has a memorandum with the National Bank. On the grounds of this memorandum we requested the information about the financial activity of the organization and it was made public,” Mogeladze says. She is chair of the monitoring group of the Georgian Chamber of Control.
Mogeladze also says that the changes to the law on political associations of citizens do not have reverse power.
“The reverse power doesn’t apply in the part about sanctions. As for the request for information about financial activity, we have this authority, because the law defines a revenue year as the period from November 1, 2011, to November 1, 2012. The reverse power of the law, which they are talking about, would have been granted to the law if there had been some reaction at the part of the sanctions,” Natia Mogeladze stated Thursday.
Georgian Dream is the new movement set up by the Georgian tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili. His lawyers claim that requesting such information from the movement is illegal, but they have nonetheless forwarded authorities information about Georgian Dream’s activity from December 30 to January 9, because they say the changes to the law were enforced on December 30 and requiring information before this date is illegal.
Alexandre Baramidze, one of Ivanishvili’s lawyers, said at a press conference that they asked the CoC to explain who has decided that Georgian Dream is a legal person to which the legislation about political parties should apply.
Today the chair of the monitoring group said that Bidzina Ivanishvili, who founded this movement, has declared his political aims and goals, accordingly, she says, this organization is of interest in their monitoring work.
“Any organization which declares its interests like that will get under our monitoring framework,” she added.