Bloomberg News

Saakashvili’s Party Would Win Snap Georgian Vote, Poll Shows

March 27, 2012

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party would win parliamentary elections if they were held tomorrow, beating billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili’s opposition coalition, a poll showed.

As many as 47 percent of likely voters would back Saakashvili’s National Movement, according to a survey by the National Democratic Institute, Akaki Minashvili, a lawmaker from the ruling party, said today by phone from the capital, Tbilisi. The results have only been given to political parties.

The poll, funded since 2008 by the Swedish International Development Agency, showed Ivanishvili’s party had 10 percent backing before October’s parliamentary vote. The nationwide survey of 3,161 people was conducted in February and March and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Opposition politicians, including former United Nations envoy Irakli Alasania, have accused Saakashvili of rolling back democratic freedoms. Still, 29 percent of Georgians would vote for a representative from his party at the next presidential elections, Minashvili said, citing the poll. Ivanishvili is seeking to restore his Georgian citizenship to challenge the president, whose second and final term ends next year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at hbedwell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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