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Georgians expressed confidence in electoral process

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, January 19
After releasing the results of their economic and social survey, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC Georgia revealed the results of the political part of their survey, which revealed that the majority of Georgians expressed confidence in the electoral process and evaluated the parliamentary elections as calm and orderly.

The results show that 74 percent of the interviewed said they took part in the elections, while according to official data, the turnout of October 8 parliamentary elections was 51.63%.

A total of 46 percent of the respondents said they voted in the run-offs on October 30, 2016, while 31 percent refused to vote in the run-offs.

The vast majority of voters knew where to cast their ballots (92 percent), and said the process was safe (96 percent), well-ordered (96 percent), and election officials were well-prepared (92 percent).

The dominant reason for voting, for 68 percent of respondents, was “civic duty.” Of GD supporters, only 11 percent said they voted to support the party and 8 percent to support the government, while 71 percent stated they voted for civic duty.

40% of respondents said the ruling party, Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) is closest to them, while 22% said they had no favorite party. 10% named the opposition United National Movement (UNM) as the party closest to them and 3% of respondents named the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia and the Free Democrats as the parties closest to them.

Attachment to individual majoritarian candidates did not appear particularly strong either, when only few weeks after the election, one-third of voters could not correctly name their majoritarian MP.

Moreover, 42% of respondents think that the new parliament will work much better than the previous one.

30% of respondents believe that the new parliament will be the same, while 8% think that the new parliament will be worse than the previous one.

The poll results showed that the majority of respondents - 47% - think there were no cases of pressure during the 2012 and the 2016 elections.

17% of respondents declare that there was more pressure during the 2012 elections than in 2016. 10% said that the pressure was equal. 11% of respondents think that there was more pressure in 2016 than in 2012.

A member of the Republican Party, Tamar Kordzaia, said the NDI polls revealed that the positions of the society and the government mismatch. She said the Republicans trust the NDI polls.

“This study clearly showed that the government does not have the same sensitivity towards the issues as the citizens have,” she said.

However, majority member Nukri Kantaria stated that the polls often do not match with the reality. He believes the NDI survey should not be trusted.

“The NDI study is not a sealed verdict or a genuine truth. It is something based on the conclusion of the polls, which can be trusted or not," he stressed.

The results of NDI research reflect data collected from November 4 to December 4, 2016 through face-to-face interviews with a nationwide representative sample of citizens of Georgia that included 3141 completed interviews. The organization says the average margin of error is +/- 1.8%.

The NDI’s survey work is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and carried out by CRRC Georgia.