09TBILISI32, GEORGIA: FUNDING RESTORED TO OPPOSITION AND

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI32 2009-01-08 15:13 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO2329
PP RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #0032 0081513
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081513Z JAN 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0676
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 000032 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: FUNDING RESTORED TO OPPOSITION AND 
PARLIAMENT CONSIDERS PRESIDENTIAL LIMITATIONS 
 
1.  (SBU)  Summary/Comment:  Parliament recently passed a law 
to restore funding to six opposition parties who refused to 
enter Parliament.  The law envisages special foundation 
funding based on the German stiftung model that Secretary 
Rice suggested during an earlier visit to Tbilisi to aid 
party development.  Parliament is also considering a draft 
law that would limit presidential powers by constraining the 
President's ability to dissolve Parliament and strengthen the 
parliamentary minority.  Both represent positive steps toward 
continuing Georgia's democratic reform.  End Summary/Comment. 
 
2.  (SBU)  The restored funding is as follows - United 
Movement (GEL 2,040,185 directly from the state budget, GEL 
106,000 from the foundation); Labor Party (GEL 497,338, GEL 
106,000); Conservatives (GEL 354,748, GEL 106,000); 
Christian-Democratic Party (GEL 786,651, GEL 213,000); 
Industrialists (GEL 345,947, GEL 106,000); Republican Party 
(GEL 354,748, GEL 106,000); Georgian Troupe (GEL 109,607, GEL 
23,000), On Our Own (GEL 116,807, GEL 23,000).  The six 
parties whose funding have been restored are Georgia's Way; 
Party of People; Movemen for United Georgia; National Forum; 
and New Rights and Freedom, with each receiving GEL 102,407 
from the budget and GEL 23,000 from the foundation.  The new 
funding scheme represents a 35% decrease in funds for UNM 
which will be shifted to fund the special foundation. 
 
3.  (SBU)  The special foundation that will oversee 
administration of the political party development funds will 
be composed of representatives from international and 
non-governmental organizations.  Political parties will be 
able to use foundation funding for public opinion and other 
types of political research, as well as to cover the costs of 
business trips and training sessions for party activists. 
 
4.  (SBU)  Parliament is considering a draft law to amend the 
constitution which will limit the right of the President to 
dissolve Parliament once in a five-year presidential term. 
Circumstances in which the President will be able to use the 
right remain unchanged: in the case Parliament fails to pass 
the state budget within three months or refuses to confirm a 
new cabinet after three attempts.  If the President wishes to 
dissolve Parliament a second time, he needs to submit it to 
vote by national referendum.  If the referendum is rejected, 
the rejection will trigger early Presidential elections.  The 
draft also envisages giving the right to the Parliamentary 
minority to initiate procedures for the dismissal of a 
cabinet.  The procedure requires that 30 MPs initiate the 
procedure.  Once initiated, a majority vote will be enough to 
dismiss the cabinet.  (Embassy Comment:  If the changes pass, 
the short term practical effect will be minimal because of 
the overwhelming UNM majority in Parliament.  However, if 
passed, the draft law would serve to strengthen Parliament in 
relation to the President and the minority vis-a-vis the 
majority, both of which are positive steps to establish more 
institutional checks and balances.  End Comment.) 
TEFFT

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