19 July, 2012


Head of Research Center of Political Technologies about NDI studies

Several days ago NDI offered to the public result of one more study that became an object of active debates of sociologists, opposition and administration. What was revealed by the study and what did it fail do demonstrate? What questions are candidly answered by Georgian voters and which ones are shunned and why are there inconsequent results – Kakha Kakhishvili, head of research center of elections and political technologies is discussing these issues with us:


Q. – As shown by NDI study 75% of polled are going to vote and 42% expect the elections will be held more or less well. Only 17% think that the results will be partially rigged and 4% consider total rigging. What do these figures indicate at?

K.K. – NDI has separated social and political parts of the study. First they presented social ratings that are much more objective than the political ones will be. It’s good that 75% of polled population is going to elections. The elections in which the more number of registered voters participates are the better. Georgian population doesn’t answer political questions candidly.

For some reason no question was asked what people think about the Control Chamber’s work. From this it’s clear that a stable campaign is on in order to create an image of Ivanishvili as that of a leader of radical opposition who is oriented not on elections but on revolution. During debates at European Parliament those European Politicians who are in close relations with Georgian authorities said that Ivanishvili aims to take people to streets. This absolutely unclear context of NDI study that Ivanishvili’s intention is revolution and not elections, is purposefully carried out within the scope of the campaign called making Ivanishvili a radical. This campaign isn’t meant for Georgian population because they are well aware of the situation; it’s a message for foreigners.

Usually the survey results are translated and sent abroad – to Embassies and International Organizations. They don’t know what’s actually going on here. For them NDI studies are substantial and their oppinion is formed accordingly. It’s strange that emphasis is put only on the leader of ‘Georgian Dream’- if Ivanishvili calls on to take to streets. Why don’t they ask a question – if Saakashvili loses elections and calls on you to protest election results, will you take to streets or not? Or why wasn’t the same question asked

with regard to other opposition leaders? So far as the emphasis is made on Ivanishvili, an opinion is formed abroad that he is more interested in taking people to streets than election results.

Q. – But the study is carried out by NDI, not authorities.

K.K. – It’s not NDI itself that carries out these studies. For unknown reasons it stubbornly assigns this job to an organization (Resource center of Caucasian studies) to which I don’t have much trust. A lot depends on the survey field. When 43% of polled say that there is no democracy in Georgia, 58% consider unemployment the most important national problem and 33% say it’s unavailability of healthcare , how do these people support the authorities’ policy? Under these circumstances what makes the ruling party the leader in ratings? Where is logics?

They’ve set up a ministry of employment but who sacked these people whom the ministry will have to take care of? One year ago we were told that only corrupted people were sacked; so are we setting up the ministry to employ those corrupted people?

The ministry of employment says that they will create data base of unemployed but will the person included in this base have money for bread, or any problem solved? In our neighboring Armenia unemployed are paid $50-aquivalent aid in national currency by the state; if an unemployed has underage children the state pays $30 per each one. When state is paying aid for unemployed then it is motivated to create jobs. Employment doesn’t mean to give somebody a job at an enterprise several months before elections so that he votes for you. An environment must be created in the country that will make business activity easy.

Q. –According to spread information several Georgian employees of NDI may be included in ‘Nationals’ election list.

K.K. –Head of the organization is Luis Navaro who is neither born in Georgia nor is he Georgian citizen, thus he can’t enjoy the election rights. It’s obvious that we won’t see Luis Navaro in ‘Nationals’ list but I won’t be surprised if we see several NDI representatives in Parliamentary list. We have already witnessed once that Dimitri Shashkin, head of IRI was such a supporter of ‘Nationals’ that one of the important ministries was entrusted to him. A question arises – when Shashkn was head of IRI, how objectively were events assessed by this organization?