TBILISI, DFWatch–Most Georgians agree with a new constitutional amendment, which was recently passed and reduced the rights of the president.
People also support an initiative to reverse a decision to have parliament in the country’s second biggest city Kutaisi, and they think it was acceptable to introduce a mass amnesty.
These are some of the results presented by National Democratic Institute on Monday, findings which appear in its latest survey of public attitudes.
54 percent of respondents think that parliament was correct to pass a constitutional amendment which reduced the powers of the president so that he no longer has the right to personally appoint members of a caretaker government in the event that he decides to dismiss government and announce a new election. 12 percent were against the decision, while 31 don’t know.
The ruling Georgian Dream coalition wants to move the location of parliament back to the capital. 48 percent of the questioned support this. 21 percent are against, and 29 percent don’t know.
96 percent said they were aware that more than 8 000 prisoners were released as a result of the passing of a law on amnesty. Among the issues people were asked about in the survey, this is the one which they were most aware of.
The problem connected with overcrowded prisons was on top of Georgian Dream’s election program. After getting into government, it presented a bill about mass amnesty. President Saakashvili was strongly opposed a vetoed it twice but the government used its majority in parliament to overturn his veto. The amnesty came into force in January, and led to the release of more than 8 000 prisoners, out of a total of about 24 000 at the time.
49 percent support this, while 37 percent are against it and 13 percent don’t know. 24 percent said that releasing more than 8 000 prisoners will have a positive influence on society; 23 percent said it won’t have any influence, while 37 percent said it will have a negative influence. 15 percent don’t know.
Those who said this will bring negative results say that it will contribute to increasing the crime level in the country. Those who said it will have positive results think it is a way to restore justice for people who were innocent and victims of torture or unfairly convicted.
3 000 people were questioned in the survey.