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PM doesn’t trust NDI s

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, October 20
Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated he did not trust the survey conducted by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which revealed only 11% support of the Georgian Dream coalition among Georgians.

The PM claimed that he respected the NDI as a foreign organization; however, according to him, the people who were practically conducting the survey in Georgia were affiliated with the opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM).

The PM stressed that his government did its best to provide the best opportunities for Georgian people and mentioned that the upcoming 2016 parliamentary elections would be the “ best survey showing the real public mood”.

The NDI is an American non-profit, non-partisan, nongovernmental organization that has supported democratic institutions and practices in every region of the world for more than three decades.

Since its founding in 1983, the NDI and its local partners have 'worked to establish and strengthen political and civic organizations, safeguard elections, and promote citizen participation, openness and accountability in government, the NDI official page reads.

The NDI cooperates with CRRC-Georgia to conduct surveys in Georgia.

CRRC Georgia is a non-governmental, non-profit research organization, which collects, analyzes and publishes policy-relevant data on social, economic and political trends in Georgia. 'CRRC-Georgia, together with CRRC-Armenia and CRRC-Azerbaijan, constitutes a network with the common goal of strengthening social science research and public policy analysis in the South Caucasus', the organization’s webpage states.

Major question marks over NDI surveys emerged under the previous state leadership, especially prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections, when the organization announced the predicted failure of the Georgian Dream coalition based on its surveys.

Later, the organization announced that the survey was conducted prior to the release of the prison torture videos that, according to them, seriously changed the public view in support of the coalition and played a key role in the coalition’s victory.

In general any survey is not for a long term perspective and since conducting it something very serious might happen and change the public attitudes, when, taking the financial factor into account, the organization fails to repeatedly conduct the same survey shortly.

The Government says that it does not trust the survey as it is not really in its interests. However, if the authorities say they trust the polls, they should recognize any failures which will be reflected in election results.

It should be recognized that there are many improvements in the country.

Georgian regained one of the main democratic values, freedom of speech, under the current state government; the previous Government came under heavy suspicion for imprisoning dissidents who were only exercising their right to free speech.

There are many positive changes in the media and court system. However, Georgians still live in poverty.

The fact is that people generally make their choices based on their own conditions. If they felt positive effect on their families due to government action, they might be persuaded to vote for that party. Hence, the social aspect will be one of the most vital factors in the upcoming election.

Not much time is left until the elections. It is obvious that the public is no longer as positive to the current Government as it used to be in 2012-2013.

Polls are always noteworthy, as they show general tendencies. Even the fact that up to 60% of the voters do not know for whom to vote is a serious signal.