The Democracy Research Institute (DRI) has been monitoring the activities of far-right radical groups in Georgia since 2019. Due to the sharply pro-Russian foreign vector, the newly formed political union Conservative Movement is in the center of public attention.
The Conservative Movement is a political party created by the far-right, openly pro-Russian Alt-Info. Through it, the far-right group, which initially emerged as a television channel, is trying to get engaged in the political life of the country. The leaders of the Conservative Movement are the organizers of the mass violence of July 5, 2021. However, no criminal prosecution has been launched against them yet.
On November 20, 2021, at a congress, the party's founders openly declared the Conservative Movement’s pro-Russian and anti-Western foreign vector. After registration as a party, Alt-Info actively started opening offices throughout Georgia. Since December, the Conservative Movement has opened about 60 offices in the regions. The opening of party offices was followed by protests from locals. At the same time, such rapid expansion raised questions about the party's financial resources.
According to a DRI source, the monthly rent for each office ranges from GEL 1,500 to GEL 2,500. In addition, Alt-Info has to remunerate the people employed in the local offices. Each of these offices employs an average of 5-6 people. Their remuneration at this stage is confidential. According to the DRI source, most employees receive their salaries in cash, which deepens suspicions about the sources and amount of the party’s finances.
Most of the offices are located in the central part of the city, which must be related to large expenses. At the end of February, information about the party's sponsors appeared on the page monitoring political finances. According to the official data, from the founding day to March 22, the income of the political party amounted to GEL 90,935. The amount of donations officially declared by the political union has almost tripled in the last 6 days. In particular, as of March 16, 2022, the total amount of officially declared donations of the Conservative Movement was GEL 36,675, while as of the afternoon of March 21, this amount became GEL 44,725, and on March 22, the finalized amount of these donations, according to the State Audit Office, was GEL 90,935.
Currently, the party’s biggest donor is Zezva Chankseliani, who donated GEL 1,000 to Salome Zourabichvili during the 2018 presidential elections.
Information on the Conservative Movement's finances has not been available for a long time. According to Giorgi Kardava, the Alt-Info and Conservative Movement are largely funded by Konstantine Morgoshia, although the relevant information is not officially available. As for the officially disclosed donations, they cannot be enough to rent the offices already opened, to pay staff salaries and to cover other expenses.
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