TBILISI – Jobs continue to be the top national issue of concern in Georgia, according to the findings of a National Democratic Institute (NDI) poll released here today. Some 63 percent of poll respondents ranked it as number one, while the cost of communal services is the top local issue at 46 percent.
Thirty-nine percent of poll respondents think that Georgia is headed in the right direction, compared to 16 percent who disagree. Regarding Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s statement that he will step down soon after the 2013 presidential election, 71 percent disapproved, compared to 18 percent who did not. Fifty-one percent of respondents are unaware of the discussion around constitutional amendments.
While the number of people who identify themselves as employed increased to 35 percent, most people believe that the number of jobs available in Georgia has either stayed the same or decreased since October 2012. Furthermore, since last October’s elections, most people believe that crime has either stayed the same or increased. However, overall 64 percent of poll respondents see the current government as making changes that matter to them, while 30 percent do not.
The number of people who think Georgia is a democracy has increased from 38 percent to 44 percent since NDI’s last poll in June (NDI Georgia Public Opinion Poll_June 2013), and 77 percent of respondents think that elections will either be totally or somewhat well conducted.
Seventy percent of respondents are dissatisfied with Georgia’s current relationship with Russia, while 73 percent continue to support Georgia’s stated goal of entering NATO and 81 percent support entering the European Union (EU).
“Jobs remain the top issue of national importance, with most people saying that the number of available jobs has either stayed the same or decreased since October 2012. Similarly, most respondents say that crime has either stayed the same or increased in the same time period. However, by a more than a 2-1margin people agree that the current government is making changes that matter to them,” said Luis Navarro, NDI’s country director in Georgia. “An overwhelming majority of respondents disapprove of both Prime Minister Ivanishvili’s statement that he will step down from office shortly after the presidential election and the country’s current relationship with Russia. However, most respondents continue to support the government’s goals of joining NATO and the EU, as well as positively assessing the conduct of the upcoming election.”
The survey looks at issues of public importance, perceptions of democracy and attitudes toward reforms, as well as various domestic and foreign policy issues. The results reflect data collected from Aug. 18 through Sept. 3 in face-to-face interviews with a nationwide representative sample of Georgian speakers that included 3,838 completed interviews. The survey has an average margin of error of +/-2%.
NDI’s survey work is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and carried out by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC).