FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2014
TBILISI – A survey of public opinion in Georgia, released today by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), shows that by 65 to 16 percent margin respondents agree that Georgia should join the European Union (EU) as compared to Eurasian Union, with 19 percent expressing no opinion. At the same time, 50 percent of respondents think that Russia is a real and existing threat to Georgia as compared to 36 percent in NDI’s November 2013 poll. (Public Attitudes in Georgia: Results of a November 2013 Survey).
Sixty-two percent of respondents think that former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili continues to be a decision-maker in the actions of the government as compared to the 18 percent who do not think so and 20 percent who do not have an opinion. Out of those respondents who believe that Bidzina Ivanishvili is still a decision-maker, 41 percent approve of the fact, while 49 percent disapprove.
Fifty-nine percent of respondents believe that current prosecutions of former government officials is primarily based on the principle of holding government officials accountable for their actions, while 22 percent believe that current prosecutions of former UNM government leaders is primarily based upon the desire for political retribution.
Forty-five to forty-three percent margin people are aware of “This affects you too” campaign launched by the coalition of NGOs and led by ISFED, GYLA and TI, which calls for legislative changes prohibiting alleged illegal surveillance. Sixty-two present of the population approves of the campaign as compared to 10 percent who does not.
“Georgians’ support for EU membership remains strong and their view of Russia as a real and existing threat has increased. Georgians place a high priority on public accountability, whether it pertains to the actions of the former government, a policy of the current government or their views about the role of a person without office as a decision maker in the government.” said NDI Director Luis Navarro.
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 March 26 through April 18 in face-to-face interviews with a nationwide representative sample of Georgian speakers that included 3,942 completed interviews. The survey has an average margin of error of +/-2.1%.
NDI’s survey work is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and carried out by CRRC-Georgia.