NGOs Speak of Alleged Unprecedented Scale Vote-Buying

Non-governmental organizations based in Georgia have criticized the governmental initiative to annul the debts of 600,000 citizens at banks and other financial institutions.

The initiative is being carried out with the assistance of Cartu Foundation, which was established by the Founder and Chair of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

The foundation says they will take responsibility for paying the debts of 600,000 people who are on the “black list”.

The NGOs claim this initiative represents an "unprecedented scale vote-buying" just before the November 28 runoff of the presidential elections.

The civil sector have asked the Prosecutor’s Office to study the case.

“We believe that this initiative can be a large and unprecedented violation of the legislation. In addition, it is also dictated by narrow party and political interests which negatively affects not only the pre-election environment but also the democratic development of the country. The use of political party voter's hard social conditions for election purposes is unacceptable and indicates a low political culture,” the statement of the organizations reads.

The Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia responded to the statement saying “this is a private agreement that applies to the majority of the population. The Prosecutor's Office will study it and the relevant decision will be taken if there are any signs of a crime.”

The initiative of paying people's debts was voiced by the Georgian PM on November 19.

By Thea Morrison

Related stories:

Georgia’s PM Thanks Cartu Fund for Support in Annulling People’s Debts

Annulment of Debts of 600,000 Citizens to Start on December 15

Gov't to Pay out 1.5 bln GEL to over 600,000 Citizens


20 November 2018 10:41