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NDI says Georgian Dream rating decreased but remains most trusted party

By Ana Robakidze
Tuesday, July 16
National Democratic Institute (NDI) presented its latest survey carried out on the rating of political parties and figures on July 15.

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and his party the Georgian Dream (GD) remain the most popular in the country. However, the PM is supported by 69% of those surveyed, while in the survey carried out in March 2013 Ivanishvili had 75% approval rating.

Other leaders of the GD have quite high ratings as well. Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili has a 61% approval rating, while MPs Eka Beselia and Tina Khidasheli, both from the parliamentary majority have 52% and 51% respectively.

It is worth to mention that 75% of those surveyed say it is essential to have a strong opposition in the country. The UNM is identified as the strongest opposition party in the country and one of its leaders, Davit Bakradze, is rated as the most popular opposition leader, with a favorable rating of 48%. He has a higher rating than President Mikhail Saakashvili, supported by 23% only.

Even though the candidate from the governing party, Giorgi Margvelashvili, currently leads in the presidential race with 29% support he received in the survey, still unnamed UNM candidate is supported by 10%. 26 % of those surveyed have not decided whom to vote for in the presidential elections.

Zurab Chiaberashvili from the UNM says his party remains to be the major opposition power in the country and their candidate will receive good support in the elections.

President Saakashvili’s party is still in the process of selecting its presidential candidate through internal party elections. After several regional conferences and debates held between primary candidates leader of UNM parliamentary minority group Davit Bakradze has an absolute advantage and presumably he will be named as the candidate.

According the survey, Giorgi Targamadze, leader of the Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), who has already announced his intention to run for president, has only 4% support. Commenting on the survey, Targamadze said that it can be assessed as “a very interesting starting position” for him.

Leader of the Labor Party Shalva Natelashvili, who has only a 3% rating in the survey, says he does not trust the date provided by NDI and calls the results of the last public opinion poll a “falsification”.

“At this early stage of the presidential race, Giorgi Margvelashvili holds a 3 to 1 advantage over the unnamed UNM candidate. However, the choice that will be made by nearly half of respondents on Election Day is as unknown,” Luis Navarro, NDI’s country director in Georgia said at the presentation of the survey.

These rating of politicians were part of a broader survey, which looks at issues of public importance, perceptions of democracy and attitudes toward reforms, as well as various domestic and foreign policy issues. According the survey, voters care most about jobs, territorial integrity and health care.

Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II remains the most trusted person in the country with a 92% approval rating. Also trust in the Public Defender, Ucha Nanuashvili, has increased. In March he had an 18% rating, which has increased to 25% in the June survey.

The data was collected from June 12-26 in face-to-face interviews with a nationwide representative sample of Georgian speakers that included 2,338 completed interviews.