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NDI-Commissioned Public Opinion Survey
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Dec.'13 / 13:41

79% of respondents said they approve Bidzina Ivanishvili’s pick of Irakli Garibashvili as his successor on the post of the Prime Minister, according to a public opinion survey which was commissioned by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and fielded in the second half of November.

The survey, released on Wednesday, was fielded by the Caucasus Resource Research Centers (CRRC) on November 13-27 and was funded by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The survey was conducted through nationwide face-to-face interview with 3,915 respondents and has a margin of error plus, minus 2%.

The survey, which shows respondents’ attitudes towards broad range of policy and current issues, also includes ratings of political parties and this segment of the survey will be released on November 20.

Compared to previous similar survey, fielded in late August and early September, number of respondents viewing Georgia as moving in the right direction has increased significantly from 39% to 53%.

For the first time since NDI began polling in Georgia in 2008, a majority of respondents, 54%, say that Georgia is a democracy now; the figure stood at 44% in the previous survey three months earlier.

73% of respondents said the government is making changes that matter to them, up from 64% in the previous survey.

Jobs remain the number one priority issue for most of the respondents (62%), followed by territorial integrity, poverty and affordable healthcare, according to the survey.

75% of respondents said that taking everything into account in general they and their household remained the same since October, 2012; 15% responded that they were better off and 10% - worse.

70% of respondents said that protection of minority rights is important to Georgia's democratic development – a nine percentage point increase over the previous survey.

Foreign Policy

Support for Georgia’s NATO membership has increased from 73% in early September to 81%, according to the recent survey. 85% of respondents approve government’s “stated goal” to join the EU.

11% of respondents said Georgia should join Russian-led Eurasian Union.

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

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

36% think that Russia is “a threat to Georgia, but it is exaggerated” and 35% think it is “a real and existing threat”; number of respondents saying that Russia is “no threat to Georgia at all” was 23%; these figures are statistically the same compared to the previous survey.

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