The Transparency International – Georgia, a Tbilisi-based non-government organization, released the second part of its opinion survey on April 8, showing public attitudes towards a broad range of issues, including elections, bank regulations, education, foreign policy and media environment.
The survey was fielded between February 20 and March 5, 2019 by the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC), and was carried out through nationwide face-to-face interviews (excluding occupied territories) with 2,087 respondents and an average margin of error plus, minus 2.3%. We have summarized some of the key findings below.
According to the survey, 45% of respondents believe that the 2020 Parliamentary elections should be held through fully proportional representation.
Asked about the 2018 presidential elections, 48% of respondents said the elections were unfair, while 40% assessed the elections as fair.
37% reported that there was vote-buying during the elections, while majority of respondents said there were no facts of voter intimidation.
63% of respondents welcomed the government’s decision to write off citizens’ bad debts ahead of the Presidential elections.
80% of respondents said a new political force has to emerge in Georgian politics.
Asked about the foreign policy orientation of the incumbent government, 27% of respondents said the Georgian Dream authorities are pursuing pro-Western agenda; 16% think it is pro-Russian and 41% consider that it is trying to maintain equally good relations with both Russia and the West.
46% of respondents said the Russian Federation is an occupying power and the country should not have good relations with Moscow until deoccupation of its territories. 44% of respondents think Russia and Georgia have many things in common, and should therefore have good relations.
Khorava street murders
Asked about the Khorava street incident, which left two 16-year-olds stabbed to death in December 2017, 84% reported that the prosecution did not investigate the case thoroughly.
79% said there have to be ad hoc Parliamentary commissions examining high-profile cases.
Bank regulations, new pensions scheme
64% of respondents noted that recently-introduced loan restrictions have created some problems to them (out of those who said they applied for such loans).
53% of respondents said they disapprove the new pension savings scheme, and only 20% said they endorse it.
Media, social networks
The opinion survey showed that 36% of respondents are aware that there are social media pages propagating fake news. 15% of them believe it is the authorities who are standing behind such pages, while 10% think the pages are run by the opposition.
Majority of respondents said they mostly watch Rustavi 2 TV and Imedi TV. 55% think Imedi TV is pro-governmental and 18% say the same about Georgian Public Broadcaster. 63% of respondents claim Rustavi 2 TV is pro-opposition.
Asked whether the government interferes in media, only 8% of respondents gave a negative answer. 31% of respondents said the authorities interfere “all the time,” and 43% said they interfere “sometimes.”
The first part of Transparency International’s opinion survey can be found here.