Euronews Georgia Interview: “Low youth activity and participation in elections”
On 27th of October, Euronews Georgia made a reportage on youth participation in politics in Georgia, particularly their low activity in upcoming parliamentary elections. Some of the voters know the purpose of the elections, but what do those young people think, who go to the Ballot Box for the first time in the 2020 elections?
Based on the National Democratic Institute August 2020 survey, only 28% of Georgian youth, aged between 18-35, know who they would like to vote for, 70% of them do not know or are undecided. Besides, according to the Caucasus Barometer 2019 polls, only 56% of Georgian youth is willing to participate in the parliamentary elections, whereas 11% certainly reject participation. Based on the blog article, published by our team member Nino Samkharadze within the GEOYOUTH2020 project framework in Mid-October 2020, Nino was asked to give an expert comment to Euronews about the problems and challenges related to youth political participation in Georgia. During the interview, Nino mentioned the discussions with youth at the GEOYOUTH2020 summits, which has demonstrated that there are structural barriers to political and electoral participation including geographical factors, intraparty inefficiency, and stereotypical stratification of society. “In a highly polarized, turbulent and unstable political environment the still developing views of young people can be easily transformed into an apathetic and nihilistic outlook,” which as Nino underlines, causes a negative impact on youth electoral participation.
At the end of the reportage, feedback from young Georgian voters is shown. Despite relatively low expectations, a first year student of Computer Sciences, Zuka Grdzelidze wants to fight for more freedom for himself, his family and society, that’s why he is going to the elections. “It is for the first time, when I am not dependent on others’ decisions, but I make my own decision. It is quite a widespread opinion, that one vote does not make any difference, or that there are no adequate candidates to give my voice to” says Nanuka Kantaria, 1st year student at the Ilia State University. However, they do realise the importance of the proportional parliamentary election, where every single vote should count!
Another interview has been held live with TV Pirveli, check it out here!
01 March- 31 December 2020
The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office in the framework of the programme “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia”.