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Rating confrontation between the political parties

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, April 12
The NDI's political parties rating poll created a scandal in the Georgian political establishment, even though from the very beginning the NDI mentioned that the results were confidential. The results became public knowledge very quickly. This was not a surprise for Georgia which is notorious for “telephone news system”, when news is spread secretly. When you tell something to your friend and want him not to tell anybody and your friend does vice versa. So, much like idle gossip, the results of the rating did not stay secret for long, and they have already become a topic for mini scandals and will most probably continue to be a source of controversy for some time. In any case, the most satisfied of the parties after the reuslts were leaked will be the ruling party as 48% of those questioned answered that they would vote for national movement if the elections were held tomorrow. The Nationals are very clear leaders ahead of the second placed Christian Democrat Movement with 9%, followed by Labour on 5%, Free Democrats on 3% and the National Forum. Chair of the parliament David Bakradze stated with confidence and visible self satisfaction that the national movement’s share of the vote far exceeded the combined share of the other parties.

Naturally most of the opposition expressed its discontent with the results and stated that they did not trust those results, which according to them do not reflect the reality, that the society is intimidated and that realistically the ruling party's rating cannot be more than 35%. National Forum leader Kakha Shartava asked if the ruling power is leading by such a proportion why does it not conduct the elections according to the new rules. Some opposition leaders suggest that if the national movement has 48% support, this should be reflected in terms of parliamentary membership where they should have 48% in the parliament. However today they have 85%. So the opposition therefore suggests that new amendments in the elections code should show the real balance of the country. As it is known, the most sensitive situation regarding parliament membership is the fact that the ruling power possesses a constitutional majority in the parliament and therefore they can do whatever they want to do. Naturally, the opposition wants to deprive the ruling power of that privilege. It is interesting that the rating of the parties differs depending on where the rating was conducted. For instance, in Tbilisi the national movement is leading but only with 28% whereas the rest of the opposition parties have a similar percentage to their overall share. The ruling party is of course very much content, and so are the Christian democrat movement party members. They are leading among opposition parties and they, along with Labour, were the only opposition forces who managed to overcome 5% barrier. Generally the opposition is not happy with the results, and many of them claim that the methodology of the polling was designed to serve the ruling party's interests. They also claim that many respondents would not be answering honestly amid a general feeling of fear and intimidation prevailing in the country. So they will change their focus to organizing street rallies and mass protests which should begin at the end of April.