Issues of Election Finance and Political Ethics in the 2018 Presidential Elections in Georgia

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Date
2020
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Abstract
Georgia, in terms of democratic transition, currently fits one of the types of hybrid regime profile countries, which is known as competitive authoritarianism. Although according to the theory of authoritarianism such regime is authoritarian indeed, it is trying to imitate democracy to the fullest extent. Opposition, which is tolerated, can access mass media, freedom of speech and real competition during elections do exist and many democratic standards are being met, but by and large, elections are conducted unfairly and the ruling political party is making strong efforts aiming at flawing elections as soon as it feels the danger of losing the power, abusing the use of state resources to the benefit of the political force in power. The nature of competitive authoritarian governance in the country was clearly revealed during 2018 Presidential elections, when it became necessary to hold the second round. The first (October 28) and the second rounds (November 28) of elections differed considerably. The first round, despite some violations, was conducted more fairly with regard to meeting democratic standards but as soon as the real threat of defeat of the government -supported candidate, Salome Zourabishvili became evident, the government resorted to various forms of electoral fraud. There is discussed the results of Presidential elections of 2018 year in Georgia on the bases of Anatomy of Competitive Authoritarianism. In particular, there are shown two important aspects of the sense of competitive authoritarianism: Inequality of government and opposition in terms of attracting election finance and an unsuccessful attempt to develop a document reflecting the ethical principles of behavior of election subjects during the election campaign. The article is prepared on the basis of electronic and printed media materials regarding the election campaign finances, as well as interviews with people involved in development of the ethical principles presidential candidates behavior.
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Georgia, Competitive Authoritarianism, Elections, Democratization
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