Foreign Affairs Minister: I do not believe NDI Tbilisi office too much

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I do not believe Tbilisi office of the US National Democratic Institute (NDI) too much, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Maia Panjikidze told journalists before the start of cabinet meeting on 8 May. She was commenting on the results of the public opinion poll conducted by the NDI. That Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II is in the lead does not require any polling, she noted.

"It is obvious that he [Ilia II] enjoys a very high degree of trust and everyone likes him. As regards the surveys, I am skeptical about them, in general. Despite my great respect towards this institution [NDI], I do not believe its Tbilisi office too much because I still remember very painfully that 12% which the NDI meted out to the Georgian Dream before the [2012 parliamentary] elections, although the result of the elections, as you know, was 65% support. Therefore, I cannot make a serious or any other comment on this survey," said Foreign Affairs Minister.

The NDI released results of its survey which reflect ratings of politicians and institutions. The results show that compared to a similar survey in November 2013 less people are happy about the performance of ministers whilst the number of those who positively assess the performance of the Georgian Dream has halved. Moreover, 46% of respondents disapprove of the Prime Minister's activity in terms of job creation. Disposition towards the former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili shrank by 23%, whilst the rating of President Giorgi Margvelashvili dropped by 26%.

The United National Movement is considered the strongest opposition party by 51% of respondents. Some 42% of respondents believe that the closest party to them is the Georgian Dream. 39% would like to see Davit Narmania of the Georgian Dream as the Mayor of Tbilisi. Out of respondents participating in the survey, 41% like Davit Narmania whilst 15% like Nika Melia of the United National Movement.

Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II is liked by 96% of respondents.

The NDI public opinion poll was conducted over the period from 26 March to 18 April and covered 3,942 people. The survey was financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

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