Front-runner of Girchi, Zurab Japaridze commented on recently published GfK Survey and claimed that the results of the survey were known to ex-President Saakashvili 3 days ahead of its publication.
"He [Mikheil Saakashvili] emphasized the ratings of the 'new parties that split from the UNM', it seems he is quite worried about the issue" - commented Japaridze. He further noted that the Rustavi 2 did not disclose name of the organization that was in charge of fieldwork, "probably because it can question the legitimacy of the survey" - he said.
Japaridze noted that the GfK's Ukrainian Branch has previously conducted polls in Crimea and found that 93 population supported the annexation.
"The Ukrainian Branch of GfK conducted study in January 2015 in Crimea and found that 93% of population supported joining Russia, while around 12% of population are Crimean Tatars who were categorically against such unification. Same time, GfK was refused to measure television ratings in Ukraine after the company falsified them... and later GfK recognized the guilt" - said Japaridze.
Japaridze commented that "such surveys in Georgia are used for political tactics, and not for measuring real attitude of the population".
According to the GfK Survey, Girshi's support amounts to 0.3%.
In January 2015, the Ukrainian branch of Germany's biggest market research organization, GfK conducted telephone poll among 800 people in Crimea (actual fieldwork did not take place -given the restrictive access for Ukrainian organizations to the peninsula) and found that 83% fully supported the annexation. However critics have argued that the imprisonment of pro-Ukrainian activists in Crimea had created situation that had hardened to collect accurate data especially when polls are done through phone-calls.