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NDI releases results of public opinion survey

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, July 28
The United States National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC Georgia released the results of their recent public opinion poll, conducted from June 8 and July 6, which shows respondents’ attitudes towards a broad range of issues, among them foreign policy and the upcoming parliamentary elections.

According to the results, the majority of Georgians still believes the country is not changing at all (34%) or going in the wrong direction (33%), while a quarter (25%) of Georgians believe the country is going in the right direction.

“Undecided voters are less positive on key economic and social indicators,” said Laura Thornton, NDI Senior Director at yesterday's press-conference.

On foreign affairs, Georgians’ support for the country’s European Union (EU) and Euro-Atlantic aspirations is stable, with NATO support at 64% and EU support at 72%. Young people support EU membership more strongly than older citizens.

“Georgians continue to demonstrate their commitment towards the EU and NATO. However, it is important that those supporting such ambitions use focused demographic and geographic targeting to reach more skeptical populations, including efforts to counter Russian propaganda, with particular attention given to undecided voters given the role they will play in the upcoming elections,” Thornton noted.

The majority of interviewed people answered that the conditions of their life are the same as it was before elections in October 2012. A total of 17 % of respondents said their life conditions are better, 51 % said they live in the same conditions, 32 % said their conditions had worsened and 1 % said they had no response.

The survey identified that, for the majority of interviewed individuals, the most important national issues are unemployment and poverty.

Respondents also named territorial integrity, rising prices/inflation and pensions among other issues. The list also includes: access to health services, education, wages, relations with Russia, and justice.

In addition, a majority of respondents stated that they will benefit from visa-free travel with the EU.

According to the survey, which was conducted in June this year, 64% of respondents believe the EU will enforce visa liberalisation, but the number is lower compared to the survey carried out in March, when 72% of respondents agreed with the opinion that the EU visa-free travel would bring benefits to people.A further 26 % do not believe that visa-free travel with the EU will bring any benefit to ordinary citizens, while the figure stood at 18 % in March.

Minister of Energy of Georgia and Vice Prime Minister Kakha Kaladze stressed that the results of the NDI's research are not even close to reality in most cases.

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili also shares position of Kaladze.

“I know that the NDI survey results do not reflect the reality. Only the upcoming elections will show what people really think,” stated Kvirikashvili.

The NDI carried out its survey from June 8 to July 6 through face-to-face interviews with a nationwide representative sample of citizens of Georgia that included 4, 113 completed interviews. The average margin of error is +/- 2.1 % claims NDI.