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Preliminary IRI survey released

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, March 26
A public opinion poll conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) has caused controversy among the political circles and the media.

The survey that was conducted in February 2015 reveals that the rating of the Georgian Dream has significantly decreased owing to its policies, the opposition United National Movement is on the verge of losing its status as the main opposition party, and that despite a certain revival, public support for pro-Russian factions remains trivial.

On the question: Whom would you vote for if the elections are held today? The Georgian Dream garnered 36% of the votes, the United National Movement 14%, Irakli Alasania’s Free Democrats 10%, the Labour party 6%, Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement-United Georgia 5%, and Irma Inashvili’s Georgia’s Patriot Alliance 5%.

Compared to last year’s survey, the rating of the Georgian Dream has decreased by 20%.

The survey also suggests that the number of people who approved of Georgia’s foreign policy course has decreased by 23%. Meanwhile the number of those describing the orientation as wrong has increased by 22 %.

Trust for political institutions also rated poorly. According to the information aired by Rustavi 2 the Georgian army was trusted by 87% (previously 93%), the education system 61%, the president’s institute 51%, parliament 49%, the Cabinet 48%, the Prosecutor’s Office 36%, the court 41%, and the police 65%. All institutions enjoyed markedly less trust compared with the previous polling.

Opposition leader and former Defense Minister Irakli Alasania stated that the decreased ratings of state structures and the army is due to the government’s inactivity. Alasania believes that his party offers an “alternative political option.”

When it comes to the ratings of political leaders, President Giorgi Margvelashvili scores at 62%, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili 56%, Parliament Chair Davit Usupashvili 56%, Health Minister Davit Sergeenko 62%, Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania 40%, Irakli Alasania 57% and the United National Movement leader Davit Bakradze at 47%.

The survey exposes the president as the most popular political figure, while Irakli Alasania ranks first from the opposition parties.

Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic Integration still remains attractive for Georgians. 85% approve of Georgia’s EU integration, and 78% approve of Georgia’s move towards NATO.

Minister of Energy Kakhi Kaladze stated that he was waiting for the official presentation of the survey. According to him, when officially released, the survey should be scrutinized.

Meanwhile, majority MP Irakli Sesiashvili stresses that he does not trust the figures, as the majority has some doubts about the legitimacy of some of the organizations that conduct surveys in Georgia.

Commenting on the issue, Nino Burjanadze congratulated her supporters on victory in the upcoming 2016 parliamentary elections.

“Our rating has increased from 1% to 5 % in a year.”

UNM member Davit Darchiashvili believes that the IRI survey reflects the current situation in the country.

“Our rating has increased, while the government’s rating has decreased, this is a normal response to today’s hard economic and political situation,” Darchiashvili said.

The survey will be officially released on the IRI’s web-page on Friday.