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Independent poll reflects positively on Saakashvili

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, October 29
The International Republican Institute (IRI) released its polling results, on October 27. The polling was ordered by the United States of America and not by Georgian political factions. A survey was conducted from 27 September until 7 October of 2010 and, based on its results, a leading position was taken by the current political movement and its leader. However, the situation has changed concerning some institutions in the country.

The National Movement received the highest rating, 42% of respondents would vote for National Movement if parliamentary elections were held next week. 13% would not vote for any party, 23% declined to answer. 11% supported Christian Democrats, 4% Laborites, 1% Georgian Party.

32% support Saakashvili to be Prime Minister after expiration of his presidential term. 24% somewhat supports Saakashvili to be Premier, 7% are somewhat against, 22% are categorically opposed.

15% of those asked did not answer the question. At the same time, the majority of questioned people considered that Saakashvili was the best man to solve the unemployment problem while 49% trust Saakashvili in resuming Georgia's territorial integrity. (5% trust Giorgi Targamadze, 3% Shalva Natelashvili, 2% - Irakli Alasania.)

As for integration to the international organizations, 36% supported Georgia’s participation to NATO and 23 % to the European Union. 19 % chose not to give an answer.

84% of questioned Georgians consider that the dialogue with Russia should be restored and the majority of them think that the Russian threat still exists.

Compared to earlier researches of the institute, trust towards the Court has increased in the country, as well as towards Police, Media and the Georgian Parliament.

As for the most trusted institution in the country, 91% considers that to be the Church and the Patriarch of Georgia. The most trusted politicians, based on the results are Mikheil Saakashvili and the Leader of parliamentary minority, Christian-Democratic Movement, Giorgi Targamadze after him.

Georgian authorities consider that the positive result for the National Movement is the logical expression of their policy, ”We are carrying out those reforms and are working in that directions, which are in the interest of Georgian people and are demanded by them. The polling has not been ordered by any Georgian political party and herewith, it is not an election period, which makes the results more interesting, “majority representative, Goka Gabashvili, said.

The Parliamentary opposition believe that the results indicate that the opposition has much to do to regain public trust, however, for the Christian Democratic Movement, the results were deemed satisfactory, “The results reveal that the Opposition should perform actively, however, the fact that our movement is in second place after the National Movement is on the merit of our Movement’s policy and intentions, “leader of the Movement, Giorgi Targamadze, said.

Taking a slightly more radical view of the survey were the non parliamentary opposition who gave statements regarding the polling results, “It is the polling of a dragon, of a bandit organization. The president of IRI is John McCain, the destroyer of Georgia and the godparent of Mikheil Saakashvili, who held the rose revolution in the country. Don’t spoil our authority and don’t try to profane our names,“ Leader of the Labour party, Shalva Natelashili, stated.

As for the leader of Our Georgia-Free Democrats, Irakli Alasania, “There is an extremely hard situation in the country; people live in very hard conditions. I know that is the reality, as I every day meet with our people and get genuine information on their difficulties and not from public polling.”

Analyst Irakli Sesiashvili explained his opinion to The Messenger, as to why the polling might have been held at the present moment in the country, “I do not believe in the results of the public polls for several reasons. First of all, they are aimed at confusing people and secondly; Georgians really avoid telling truth when questioned, as often happens when dismissed from jobs because of their anti authority attitudes. There are people around me, who tell me frequently that they did not say what they really thought as doing so may have caused problems. As for why those results might be released now, I have my ideas. This is autumn now, there are threats of street rallies, and the results are targeted to confuse people.”