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IRI survey results released, feedback mixed

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, July 26
The results of the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) nationwide survey of Georgian public opinion was released by Georgian media companies on July 25, after Georgian political parties became familiarized with the official data.

43% of the 1,500 respondents who took part in the survey said they would vote for the ruling United National Movement (UNM) if parliamentary elections were held tomorrow, 24% of the respondents expressed their allegiance to Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition, and 7% chose Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM). 5% of the interviewees throughout the country do not support any political party, while 19% have not made a decision yet.

President Mikheil Saakashvili received 73% support among political leaders, while on the question who they would vote for if presidential elections were held the next day– 37% named UNM candidate, 24% - Bidzina Ivanishvili and 7% CDM leader Giorgi Targamadze.

CDM felt optimistic about the results. Giorgi Tagramadze focused on the 21% of the respondents who have not yet made a decision about their preferred political team. He said this category of people seem to dislike both the UNM and the Georgian Dream and want to see a powerful political team in the country who would balance the situation.

Levan Vepkhvadze said this polling has again proved which three political teams will be present at Georgian parliament after the upcoming elections this October referring to UNM, CDM and Georgian Dream. He said CDM leaders have a high level of trust from the society.

Georgian Dream coalition member Eka Beselia expressed mistrust towards the survey. She doubted that anyone may have higher trust and rating in Georgian politics than Bidzina Ivanishvili.

National Democratic Party’s Guram Chakhvadze approved of the survey adding that such research helps politicians improve their policy. Optimistic about the opportunities of his party at the upcoming parliamentary elections Chakhvadze said the more often such surveys are conducted, the better.

Ruling party MPs welcomed the fact that the challenges and problems the Georgian population is facing nowadays are relevant to the employment, healthcare and agricultural priorities defined by the state.

MP Petre Tsiskarishvili said the UNM is making further plans according to the people’s position. “You are a really strong politician with a high public trust, when your program and action plan responds to the people’s challenge,” he said.

The nationwide poll was carried out in early July. IRI told The Messenger that polling results were officially presented only to political parties while the office in Washington will publish the media version of the document on the IRI web page in near future.

Survey results of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) reflecting public opinion about the upcoming parliamentary elections and the public’s political preferences showed that 36% of people polled by NDI would likely vote for the UNM if parliamentary elections were held tomorrow, 18% would vote for the Georgian Dream coalition and 3% for the CDM. On the questions which of the following people they would like to see the most as the next President of Georgia, 22% supported the ruling party candidate; 20% preferred Ivanishvili-endorsed candidate; CDM leader Georgi Targamadze received only 4% of the possible votes.