IRI Survey: Dissatisfaction with National Institutions Increases in Georgia

International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research released the result of their poll, conducted in April 2018, which showed that dissatisfaction with national institutions has increased in Georgia.

According to the survey, the ratings of nearly all state bodies have reduced during the recent years.

The rating of the police fell from 88% in May 2013 to 50% today. The approval of police activity was 49% in 2004, and there was a growing tendency up to 2013 after which the rating started to fall. In February 2015, the police rating was 50%, followed by a small increase, but according to the data of April 2018, this figure is still 50%.

In parallel to this, the number of people who do not like the police has increased up to 43%. It is the worst indicator the body has had in the last 14 years. In 2004, 40% of people disliked the police. In 2013, only 6% of people had a negative approach to the institution.

As for the Prosecutor’s Office, it had the highest rating in February 2013, when 71% approved of its activities. Today, this rating is 26%. In 2013, 12% of people named the Prosecutor’s Office as their least favorite institution while now the number has increased to 52%, the same result seen last year.

Public trust has also slipped in several other key institutions over the same time frame, including the Cabinet of Ministers. In October 2012, the rating was 81% but now it is only 34%. Also, the negative attitude towards ministers has increased from 10% to 60%.

Like the Cabinet, Parliament had the highest rating in 2012 – 81%, but this has declined to 34% in 2018. The negative attitude indicator has increased from 11% in 2012 to 62% now.

The Court's rating has also reduced. According to the data of April 2018, only 25% of the court's assessment is positive. This rating was the highest, 62%, in February 2013 and since then the tendency has been declining.

The National Bank's highest rating was observed in November 2011 (67%). In 2018, its rating is only 22%. As for the negative attitude, it is 67%, a growing tendency in recent years.

As for political parties, only 21% of respondents had a positive attitude towards them, which is the lowest indicator since 2003. Negative attitude is at 68%, coinciding with the May 2003 index. The negative attitude toward political parties began in May 2013 and reached its peak in May 2016 (73%). In the last two years, the negative attitude decreased slightly (68%).

The tendency of decrease is also obvious in the rating of the governor's institute. The 51% rating of 2011 has declined to 19% in 2018.

The most popular institution in the country, the Orthodox Church has also seen decline of rating. It had the highest rating 96% in 2008 and 94% in February 2013. Since then the popularity of the Church has been declining and now it is 84%.

As for the Georgian army, its rating is 83% in 2018, while it was 93 in 2013.

However, in contrast to negative tendencies, the approval of local authorities has risen from 27% in March 2016 to 43%. The regions with the two highest approval ratings, Samtskhe-Javakheti (60%) and Adjara (59%), were also among the regions rated as the most transparent and open.

The poll also indicates that the majority of Georgians continue to support a pro-Western foreign policy approach. 77% believe that the Georgian foreign policy should either be “only pro-European Union and the West” (27%) or “pro-Western but keep up relations with Russia” (50%). While support for dialogue with Russia remains high at 76%, it has dropped six points since March 2017 and 19 points since February 2013.

The data was collected throughout Georgia, excluding the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, on April 10-22, 2018, through face-to-face interviews at respondents’ homes.

By Thea Morrison

31 May 2018 22:48