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Politicians React to IRI’s Public Opinion Poll

The “International Republican Institute” (IRI) released the results of a new public opinion poll on April 25, according to which Georgian citizens strongly support joining the European Union, the majority of respondents express a lack of trust in political parties and are dissatisfied with the presence of Russian citizens in the country.

IRI’s findings were followed by reactions from both the ruling party and the opposition. Here is a summary of their responses in quotes for our readers.

Reaction of the Ruling Party

Gia Volski – “Georgian Dream”, the First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament: “It is unfortunate that organizations that are implementing quite good programs in Georgia constantly try to embarrass themselves several times a year with such polls, which inform us that if the elections are held in near future, in 2024, the coalition united under the wing of [Davit] Kezerashvili, and consisting of [Levan] Khabeishvili, [Giorgi] Vashadze, [Elene] Khoshtaria, [Badri] Japaridze, [Vano] Merabishvili and such characters, has some chances of winning”.

Archil Talakvadze – “Georgian Dream”,  Deputy Chairperson of the Parliament: “…opposition parties create their agenda with polls… This is their business, if you have no other agenda and no hope of winning the elections, then you can organize your party activities only through polls, but I repeat, we have not yet seen a winning and successful party through polls. We respect all international organizations, the work done by IRI, but we must understand that the results of these political polls had been tested 7-8 times through elections, where “Georgian Dream” was predicted to have very low results and even, in many cases, to lose the majority. It turned out that our party had more support than the opposition parties put together”.

Reactions from the Opposition

Levan Khabeishvili – Chairman of the “United National Movement”: “The poll has shown that the support for the National Movement has increased 2.5 times since November. I mean the 6% support observed in November. Today, the National Movement has 14% support; Georgian Dream had 25% support and now it has 19%. We have also seen the ratings of other parties. We will cooperate with all pro-Western parties… Not only has the National Movement not disintegrated, but its rating is growing and solid.”

Ana Buchukuri – “For Georgia”: “Given the fact that we have differing tactics in terms of media activity, we firmly retain the third place of support, as before. The rest, of course, is conditional and the most important is the elections. In the end, a voter makes an assessment during the elections… those parties that have never been in power and, therefore, have not taken on the responsibility and burden of being in power, still have a much more negative ratings than Giorgi Gakharia.”  

Giorgi Vashadze – “Strategy Agmashenebeli”: “The sharp decline in the ratings of Georgian Dream indicates that they are the force linked to the Russians and that there is not alternative to union of opposition. The larger the union, the more guaranteed the victory. If snap elections were held tomorrow, Georgian Dream would suffer a devastating defeat”.

Ana Natsvlishvili – “Lelo for Georgia“: We see this [survey] as an interesting material to be used in defining the party’s strategy and action plan. Of course, we will analyze the public’s views on pressing issues and plan accordingly on how to prepare for a major political change… What this poll has clearly shown is that there is no alternative to a change of government, and that this change should be made through elections.”

Herman Sabo, Girchi: “IRI assigned us 2% as the result of the previous polls as well. These polls do not show real ratings, they set trends, and with these trends we can say that Girchi retains its voters.”


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