The American International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National-Democratic Institute (NDI) have ben introducing in Georgia since early 1990s. The public’s trust towards these institutes is too low, but nevertheless, both the political parties and the society express higher interest to each public opinion survey conducted by them. The study published on 30th January 2019, are not exclusion since they deserved an increased interest of politicians, journalists, and civil society. According to NDI study if the parliamentary elections are held tomorrow, 52% of respondents do not decide for which party to vote, 41% says knows for which, while 6% – does not know. 1% of the interviewed does not want to answer. 36% of the respondents say none of the parties satisfy their views
According to the results of the study, 27% of voters could make the first choice on “Georgian Dream” and 2% – the second choice; In case of the ”National Movement” these percentage could be distributed as 12% and 2%; In case of “European Georgia” – 3% and 5%; In case of “Patriots Alliance” – 3% and 4%, and, for other parties – 7% and 5%.
Our attention drawn a fact that about 52% of interviewed have not decoded still for which party to vote. Besides, an the answer that 36% of respondents is not going to support any party, is also interesting. It comes out that 88% of voters do not like any political party acting in Georgia
Gulbat Rtskhiladze, head of the Eurasian institute”, is talking with us about the results of this study and the mood of the Georgian society:
-, Mr. Gulbaat, despite the circumstance that a large part of our society does not trust the NDI studies their results arise a certain interest. In our case, answers on two questions were important: a prevailing part of the society does not trust to the political parties and does not decide to which to vote. What do our citizens, who spent 9 year in fear and now hunger, want to say by this?
-, This is a mass protest and nihilism, People wants to have normal conditions for existence, I do not speak about living standards . . . that, you can agree, is now harder than in the past. None of the immediate elections come, therefore no attempts of falsification could be expected from this discredited organization . No a falsification is less, and I believe this is a real opinion of our citizens
-, Those part of voters who dislike all parties: Are they against NATO and EU?
– There is such a question in the study, but in this case a share of voters who want contacts with NATO and EU, is high:
According to the study conducted by NDI, for a majority of respondents, the declared objective of the Georgian government regarding membership to NATO and EU, is acceptable. EU membership is acceptable for 83% of interviewed while for 9%- unacceptable, and 7% has no answer. NATO membership is acceptable for 78% of voters, unacceptable for 13%, and 9% has no answer
This indicator about 4=5 years ago, was rather different and this was nor concealed even by NDI. Several years ago, lot of trust towards NATO and EU was conditioned by fact that the president of Russia Vladimir Putin opened a market to the Georgian goods, that was a correct step, since it certainly mitigated the visa regime and simplified inter-counties travel. Increase of a low of tourism from Russia to Georgia, had a positive impact on our economy. To say shortly, several years ago, the president of Russia passed a lifebuoy to Georgia, not to the country’s government.
However, Russia did nothing for giving explanations to our population, and to say clearly how important was for Georgia the steps Russia did as its good will. Vice versa, its attitude to us was understood as it has any obligation to Georgia and that is why it did so and, since Russia did not explain to us the things, we started a new wave of swearing and abusing our neighbor country.
For not continue this action, Russia must make the next step towards us – to abolish the visa regime, make investments. However, a part of Georgians have some complications regarding such investments, since they think the investments made by Russia equals to occupation. Such an approach to the theme is wrong and harmful for our country, but anyway, we accuse Russia when it made a good and gave a hand of assistance to us, but with no explanation, what is called here as the Russian propaganda here and which does not exist in real
Russia fails to implement its strategic plans in the Caucasus, that is why the figures published within the scopes of the given study, are not surprising it is not surprising lo, why the number of citizens increased who consider that NATO will protect us and EU is good for the development of our country. Georgians think that they will not receive from Russia more than already received, but they forget how much money is transferred from Russia to Georgia
A question is to be put in such a way: Europe or Russia. Since no similar question was put, the society has answered appropriately. Public opinion is periodically changeable, but we fail to deliver this factor to Russia. In some countries, Russians spend a lot of money in order to explain to locals a difference between Russia and the reminder world, try to introduce their country positively, but, Russia does not act in this manner in the near foreign countries, post-soviet republics.
President and Foreign Minister of Russia say that they work with officials only, and they think it is correct. They do not infringe in the local affairs of other countries, but America does it with pleasure – infringement in local affairs, politics, oppositional activity, affairs of governing forces of foreign countries. In this view, Americans have arranged perfectly the relations with Georgia
So, the results of the last study published by NDI are correct and, I cannot doubt them
-, A long time has passed since the American institutes conduct studies in Georgia, but there is no question there about the territorial integrity of the country. At the initial stage of the studies s there was such a question but it disappeared then gradually. Do you think Georgians have not a desire any more to take back these territories?
-, Georgians see that return of the territories is nonrealistic. Where do we live, in which planet? On what return of territories do we speak about? Who needs so bagger country?
Abkhazians and Ossetians will not turn to us voluntarily, by their own wish, because we committed many mistakes . We cannot do anything, we have a chaos in the country, terrible news are spread every day – talks about the narco-club Basiani, secret videos on private life, other unpleasant things. . . Who will join us
Our people is not shy, can see reality and does not speak about t, but it does not mean that people does not want integration, imply, it is clear that this theme will not become an agenda during a long period, will not become a priority task . . .
-, The study has shown that a greater part of our society wants something new, a new political team
-, Nobody believes that a new force ill appear. The society just wants, but does not believe in it. Numerous new faces my appear but nobody thinks about people, nobody talks about real problems. People fly in clouds, Some are the extreme religious, others – nationalists, some says this, others – that, mad slogans are heard, even madder than we had in 1980s.
A month ago I registered in the social network and, have a chance to read the “posts” of the politicians. They act as if they are on the theatre stage, while several persons- idiots approve their views , and they (politicians) think people likes them. I recommend them to abolish facebooks, go and her in real in the streets what people thinks about them, who has water, natural gas, who was deprived of land, etc. I advise them to understand more about social problems, how many accidents happen on the construction sites, how the country lives in general. We, people, know much more and better than these politicians. No need to listen rom them how people live in this or that country/ They have already accumulated enough finances and, I ask them not to act as Ivanishvili, not to wait for a time when Ivanishvili will invest in something. Otherwise a request for dictatorship will appear once again, but unfortunately, not Stalin, but misha-like dictator will come into the power
According to the UN data, we, the Georgians are the only nation in the Caucasus region, which is not multiplied, and are in minus. They’d better to deal with this problem, otherwise only portraits of Georgian will soon remain as a caricature of an infantile, fatty Georgian man. Then nobody will recall Rustaveli, neither Vazha-Pshavela
Interviewed by Eka Naskidashvili