Georgian Politicians React to NDI Public Opinion Survey
On September 14, the National Democratic Institute (NDI) released results of a public opinion survey, which shows that some six weeks ahead of October 31 parliamentary polls, a large number of voters – 59% remain undecided. Members of the ruling Georgian Dream and of the opposition parties displayed mixed reactions to the NDI survey.
Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, and number 5 on the GD party list, Mamuka Mdinaradze expressed his skepticism towards the impartiality of the NDI survey results, claiming that the CRRC is an organization “of the United National Movement (UNM)”, and that its estimates are “off by 20-25%.” “In reality, this is no survey at all, they are sitting in offices and in rooms while writing these outcomes; otherwise, the results would be different,” the Deputy Speaker stated.
Parliament Chairman Archil Talakvadze, number 2 on the GD party list, asserted that support for the ruling Georgian Dream party is far greater than illustrated in the NDI survey results. “We know from more convincing, public, and reputable surveys that the Georgian Dream has significant support,” said the Speaker.
Opposition UNM MP Tinatin Bokuchava found it “unsurprising” that, “36% of Georgians said a party’s economic policy is the most important when deciding which political force to vote for.” The opposition MP, concurring with this finding of the NDI survey, emphasized that “voters are expecting a specific economic outlook from political parties” to overcome existing economic hardships. Bokuchava said the opinion poll confirms that most people maintain a pro-opposition mindset, and that “the 59% (of undecided voters) will translate into votes for the opposition.”
Teona Akubardia of the Strategy Aghmashenebeli party shared Bokuchava’s position on the matter. “The NDI polls once again clearly showcase that the voters who are unwilling to name the party they are supporting during the elections, of course, are not supporters of the government”, Akubardia stated.
For MP Giga Bokeria, European Georgia’s majoritarian candidate in western Poti, Khobi and Senaki constituency, the public opinion poll results illustrate that the pre-election atmosphere in the country is geared towards “fundamental changes.” “The country is in need of change and change is demanded by the people. We plan to fulfill this expectation with our plans for change,” Bokeria said.
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