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NDI survey looks at Georgians’ views on Church’s influence

by | Aug 26, 2014
father_iakob_Crop

Bishop Iakob called on people not to vote for the National Movement. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Jobs, poverty and territorial integrity are the most important national issues, as Georgians see it.

3 percent of those questioned in a new survey say that the number of jobs in Georgia increased after the parliamentary election in 2012. 56 percent say the number of jobs stayed the same, while 36 percent say the are fewer jobs now.

68 percent considers themselves unemployed, while 32 say they are employed.

These are some one of the findings in the newest survey about public attitudes in Georgia, organized by National Democratic Institute (NDI), a U.S. publicly funded body promoting democracy in other countries.

The regular NDI surveys usually include some questions about things that have been debated in Tbilisi recently, and this time people were asked about the influence of the Church and a businessman in Georgian politics.

50 percent of people in Georgia think that former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili continues being the real decision-maker in the government and 36 percent approve of this, while 53 percent disapprove of it. 10 percent say they don’t know.

Bidzina Ivanishvili is the billionaire who went into politics in 2011 and brought together the coalition currently in government. For about a year after winning the parliamentary election, he was prime minister, and after picking his successor, a presidential candidate and a candidate for Tbilisi mayor, he resigned.

In NDI’s survey, people were also interviewed about the local election in June and how well it was conducted. 31 percent said it was totally well conducted, 43 somewhat well, 7 percent  somewhat falsified, 1 totally falsified, and the rest said they don’t know.


Respondents were reminded about a speech made July 6 by Bishop Iakob who called on voters to not vote for the National Movement, the party of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili which was in power from 2004 to 2012.

18 percent said they were aware of this call, 77 percent didn’t know. 13 percent approved of the bishop’s call to vote against the UNM, while 63 percent disapproved of it. 23 percent don’t know.

Generally speaking, 16 percent says they think the Church should be engaging in election campaign, while 73 percent think it mustn’t, 10 percent do not know.

NDI on Monday published the results of the survey on public attitudes in Georgia. The survey was carried out from July 23 to August 7. 3,338 people were interviewed. The average margin of error is +/- 2.9 percent. Funding was provided by the Swedish government’s development agency SIDA.



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