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Former Chair of Zugdidi City Council (Sakrebulo) and the Georgian Dream’s current Majoritarian candidate from Zugdidi, Merab Kvaraia, on air on the Obiektivi Media Union, stated: “One of my most important priorities will be cooperation with local self-government organs. I am well aware of the problems which concern Zugdidi and Samegrelo, specifically. Zugdidi and Samegrelo have a very strong local self-government, a very strong team which needs and will need help and assistance and I am ready to lend them help in the implementation of their projects and plans.”

Zugdidi City Council member (from the United National Movement), Ani Tsitlidze, commented upon this statement on her Facebook page: “The Chair of the City Council has not made a single decision independently from the region’s governor during his entire tenure. Ninety-five percent of Zugdidi voters do not know their Majoritarians, including Merab Kvaraia.”

FactCheck

took interest in the accuracy of the statement.

The results of sociological research carried out by the Caucasus Research Resource Centre (CRRC) for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) are published

on the website of the CRRC. One of the questions from the questionnaire was about the knowledge about Majoritarians in municipal councils.

Graph 1:

 Results of Opinion Polls, August 2015

image001 Source: Caucasus Research Resource Centre

According to the research, of all of the interviewed respondents in Zugdidi, 5% correctly knows his Majoritarian in the City Council, 5% knows incorrectly and 90% does not know his Majoritarian at all.

Graph 2:

 Assessment of Performance of the then Chair of Zugdidi City Council, Merab Kvaraia

image003 Source: Caucasus Research Resource Centre

According to the same research, of all the interviewed respondents in Zugdidi, 5% assessed the performance of Zugdidi City Council Chair, Merab Kvaraia, as bad, 44% as neutral, 15% as good and 3% as very good whilst 1% has never heard of him. Of the interviewed respondents, 31% did not have an answer and 1% refused to answer.

Conclusion

According to a public opinion poll in Georgia carried out in August 2015, only 5% of interviewed respondents in Zugdidi correctly knew who his Majoritarian in the City Council was, 5% did not know correctly and 90% did not know at all. According to the same research, 5% of Zugdidi’s respondents assessed Merab Kvaraia’s performance as bad, 44% as neutral, 15% as good and 3% as very good.

FactCheck concludes that Ana Tsitlidze’s statement is TRUE.

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