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Rustavi 2 accused TV in forging public poll results

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, October 5
Journalist Shalva Ramishvili said that Rustavi 2 TV faked the public poll results, carried out by the German market research company GfK, in favor of the main opposition party United National Movement (UNM).

The Rustavi 2 commissioned poll was conducted by GfK from September 12-25 and referred to the upcoming October 8 parliamentary elections. The results were announced by Rustavi 2 TV on October 1 and it said that the UNM had the highest rating 26 % of the votes and the ruling party Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia (GDDG) had 25.4 %.

Ramishvili held a special meeting and stated that he had the real results of the survey, provided by Beso Kaladze, a former member of the Free Zone political club, affiliated with the UNM.

Kaladze stated that he received the real results and the faked ones from his friend, who is a member of the UNM.

“I told Ramishvili that I had these papers and he advised me to immediately take them to the notary, get them stamped and keep the documents sealed until Rustavi 2 released the results,” Kaladze stated at the briefing.

After Rustavi 2 announced the poll results, Ramishvili and Kaladze went to the notary bureau and opened the envelope in front of the journalists. The alleged real result showed that the UNM had 12.5% instead of 26%.

Ramishvili called on the proper agencies to examine the authenticity of the two papers. He also addressed the National Communications Commission to study the case.

Rustavi 2 Director General Nika Gvarmia responded to Ramishvili, saying these charges are “ridiculous”.

“Ramishvili is a comical figure. In exchange for money, he offered us his help against the ruling team but we turned down his offer,” stated Gvaramia.

The UNM also rejects the allegations, saying all the questions will be answered at the elections.

“On October 8, the Georgian people will make their choice and this misunderstanding will end once and for all,” UNM member Giga Bokeria said.

Vice-Speaker of parliament and the member of the GDDG, Manana Kobakhidze, said the research of Rustavi 2 are not reliable.

“The UNM and Rustavi 2 are trying to mislead society with their falsifications and incorrect statistics. However, everyone is well aware that their polls cannot be trusted,” said Kobakhidze.

GfK is scheduled to make a statement over the issue in the coming days.