IRI: 60 per cent of Georgia citizens do not support parliament boycott
IRI: 60 per cent of Georgia citizens do not support parliament boycott

Amid political deadlock between the opposition and the ruling party, 60 per cent of citizens either “definitely” (42 per cent) or “somewhat” (18 per cent) do not support the opposition’s boycott of Parliament. The research conducted by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research reads.

The International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research conducted its first nationwide poll of Georgia since the 2020 parliamentary elections, revealing widespread economic concerns and decreased satisfaction with the government’s COVID-19 response.

IRI informs that these findings come as the ruling and opposition parties struggle to forge a consensus on the path forward in the wake of the contested elections last fall.

“Over years of polling, Georgians have distinguished themselves by their consistent optimism. That now seems to be changing, with citizens increasingly anxious over the economy, the pandemic and the country’s recent political crisis,” said IRI Regional Director for Eurasia Stephen Nix.

According to the poll, 76 per cent of citizens think Georgia’s economic situation has worsened either “somewhat” (37 per cent) or “a lot” (39 per cent) in the past year. At the household level, 63 per cent state that their economic situation has worsened, and 71 per cent describe it as either “somewhat” or “very” bad. Moreover, unemployment tops the list when asked to name the most important problems facing their country (65 per cent), their town (41 per cent) and their household (34 per cent).

Regarding the pandemic, 59 per cent of Georgians are either “somewhat” (44 per cent) or “very” (15 per cent) satisfied with their government’s overall response – a 20-point decrease since IRI’s June 2020 survey.

In terms of the economic response specifically, 45 per cent, as opposed to 56 per cent in June 2020, are satisfied with the government’s efforts to address the economic fallout of COVID-19.

Amid political deadlock between the opposition and ruling party, 60 per cent of citizens either “definitely” (42 per cent) or “somewhat” (18 per cent) do not support the opposition’s boycott of Parliament.

Though Georgians, by and large, want their elected representatives to resume governing, they are evenly split on the need for early parliamentary elections: 45 per cent support the opposition demand for snap elections, while 45 per cent do not.

“These findings send an important message to both the governing and opposition parties. Georgians want a functioning parliament that reflects their needs,” said Nix.

This survey was conducted on behalf of IRI’s Center for Insights in Survey Research by Dr Rasa Alisauskiene of the public and market research company Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization between February 2 and February 26, 2021. The fieldwork was conducted by the Institute of Polling and Marketing. Data was collected using a multistage probability sampling method through in-person, in-home interviews. The sample consists of 1,500 Georgians aged 18+ and eligible to vote. The data was weighted for age, gender, region and settlement size. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 per cent, and the response rate was 75 per cent. This survey was made possible by the support of the American people through the (USAID).

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