NDI poll: a majority of respondents say that Georgia is a democracy now

According to the NDI survey, 14% of respondents didn’t approve of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s resignation.
Agenda.ge, Dec 18, 2013, Tbilisi, Georgia

For the first time since the National Democratic Institute (NDI) began polling in Georgia in 2008, a majority of respondents, 54 %, say that Georgia is a democracy now, according to the latest survey results released by the NDI on December 18.

The survey shows that a majority of Georgians, 53% also think their country is headed in the right direction and 73% say the government is making changes that matter to them.

"Georgians strongly support European integration, are optimistic about their democracy, and the direction of their country, NDI Director Luis Navarro said while presenting the survey results in Tbilisi.

Entitled "Public Attitudes in Georgia, the document results reflect data collected from November 13 through November 27 in face-to-face interviews with a nationwide representative sample of Georgian speakers that included 3,915 completed interviews. The survey has an average margin of error of +/-2%.


Foreign Relations:

Eighty-five% of Georgians support the governments goal of joining the European Union and when asked to choose, Georgians expressed strong support for membership in the European Union as opposed to the Eurasian Union by a margin of 68 to 11 percent.

The poll showed that 72% of respondents are dissatisfied with the Georgias current relationship with Russia and only 7% agree Georgia should join the Eurasian Union established by the Russian Federation.

Number of respondents who support Georgias participation in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games declined from 76% in early September to 66% in late November.

48% of respondents approve governments response to the process of erecting fences by the Russian troops across breakaway South Ossetias administrative boundary line against 28% who disapprove.


Local issues

Asked how important and unimportant the protection of minority rights to Georgias democratic development is, 57% say that it is important.

Reforms in healthcare, agriculture and education are named as the most important for Georgias future development.

The poll shows that jobs continue to be the top national issue of concern in Georgia at 62%, while the number of people identifying themselves as unemployed has increased by 4% since the September 2013 poll.


The number of people who identify themselves as unemployed is now at 69% and 44% of them say that they are unemployed and looking for a job.

Navaro noted that while unemployment has increased, Georgians remain strong in their view that the government is making changes that "matter to them and cite jobs and the cost of communal services as their top priorities in the lead up to next years municipal elections.

The cost of communal services was named as the most important local issue by 52% of respondents.


The percentage of respondents who thought the October 2013 presidential election was well conduced, increased from October 2012 by 10 points, from 79% to 89%.

The survey also featured the questions about the three biggest barriers to free and fair elections in Georgia. The people think that bribing of voters, problems related with voters lists, and harassments of voters are the barriers.


Current events

The survey also covered current developments.

The respondents were asked if they approve or disapprove of Bidzina Ivanishvilis candidate for the post of Prime Minister, the majority of surveyed 79% said that they have a positive attitude toward the current Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili.

According to the NDI survey, 14% of respondents didn't approve of Bidzina Ivanishvilis resignation. They answered that, it will provoke misunderstanding in the coalition Georgian Dream. 15% approved that former PM Ivanishvili left his position. According to them, it will boost the democratization process and multiparty development in Georgia. 21% had no answer and only 1% didn't respond.

On the question, how do the respondents evaluate that Bidzina Ivanishvili named Tbilisi Mayor Candidate before his resignation, 43% approved Ivanishvilis decision, 24% didn't agree with him, and 32% had no answer.

Bidzina Ivanishvili named the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Davit Narmania as the Tbilisi Mayor nominee on November 23.


TV still stays the first source of information of receiving the news about Georgian politics and current events.

Facebook, news agencies and YouTube was named as the top three internet sites they visit for politics.19% named the internet as their first or second source of information.


Asked about how important their religious beliefs in making decisions in daily life are, 52% of respondents say that it is important.

NDI, an independent nonprofit organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide, this year has conducted four nationwide polls in February, June, August and November in Georgia. The Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) carried out the surveys, while the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) funded them.