Why National Movement lost points on NDI’s survey
Author: By Archil Sikharulidze
On July 10, the US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) published its third survey on Georgian public opinion this year. The survey was conducted from June 4 to 22. The research evaluated attitudes of Georgian society and emphasized important issues. Later on July 16, NDI presented the ratings of Georgian political parties. Opinions regarding the survey have split again.
According to the newly published survey, the National Movement Party is still the number one political force in Georgia. On the question “Whom would you vote for if parliamentary elections were held tomorrow?” 36% of respondents preferred the ruling party. Still, these results show that the National Movement (UNM) has lost 11 percentage points since the last poll was conducted in late February.
The reasons for such a fall may be due to the controversial activities of the Chamber of Control, as well as the drastic measures taken against billionaire opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili.
The Chamber of Control, an independent public institution which conducts audits of the state budget, public finances and the activities of the public administration, has been criticized by some Georgian NGOs and former US Ambassador to Georgia John Bass, for taking questionable measures and decisions against opposition parties and particularly– the Georgian Dream Coalition led by Ivanishvili.
The issues related to Bidzina Ivanishvili’s citizenship and the seizure of part of his private property has recently become a prominent story. According to the NDI survey, the majority of Georgians condemn the drastic measures taken against the leader of the Georgian opposition.
Another significant factor may have been the fact that the Georgian Dream Coalition’s pre-election has included a very active schedule. The coalition has visited the Georgian regions and has been adept at communicating their message. In the past, the lack of alternative information or news source was a huge problem. Now, the party is coming to the people.