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Friday, 20 April 2018


Harmony on Georgian Public TV?

2009-12-04 18:06

Georgian Public TV is expecting changes. It seems Mikheil Saakashvili's concession to the opposition will eventually be brought to life, and from now on the extended board of guardians will include opposition candidates. Anyway it's up to the ruling majority to decide on specific persons.

Recently Chairman of the Georgian Parliament David Bakradze called on the parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition to agree on unique candidates for the Board of Guardians of the Georgian Public Broadcaster.

"If the opposition agrees we as the majority will support the candidates coordinated with the opposition", - Bakradze promised at a briefing.


However the final decision on GPB composition is up to the parliament whose ruling party may bolt out too inappeasable TV "counselors".

In summer under the pressure of opposition the GPB director general stepped down and was replaced by Georgy Chanturia.

He promised he would press for larger authorities of the Board of Guardians, create a more flexible and efficient administration structure. However the new-sprung administrator avoided disputable issues connected with the policy of GPB customized programs and expenses. Chanturia stated even he had no access to this information which was not concealed - it was the way the company was managed.

The candidate promised to make TV finance more transparent saying also that journalist investigations would return on TV.

However so far there have been no serious changes in the program policy of the company that totally depends on taxpayers' money. At November rallies civil representatives and opposition again called for resignation of the TV channel CEO and his Board of Guardians.

"This TV channel is financed from the taxes paid by people and it must comply with people's requirements and reflect interests of the people", - was the address read out by Nodar Mgaloblishvili, an actor.

In the meantime the Georgian parliament voted for amendments to the law on broadcasting stipulating increase in the number of members of the GPB Board of Guardians from 9 to 15 in September. Seven of them were supposed to represent the opposition.

Elaboration of amendments started after Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's debates in Parliament on July 20 when he suggested counterbalancing presentation of public life on TV by reorganizing GPB's current Board.

Pavle Kublashvili, chairman of the parliamentary committee for legal issues, an author of the draft, stated the initiative would contribute "to more active participation of civil representatives and journalists" in TV activities.

The Board that acted until recently was formed in February 2008 upon agreement between authorities and opposition. Four positions remained vacant there from April to August 2009 after a few members left the Board in protest to the biased presentation of political events by the channel.

At the extraordinary session on August 31 the deputies elected three members of the Board out of nine presented candidates: David Kandelaki, David Aprasidze and Zurab Davitashvili. Thus the consultative body consists of 8 persons including Levan Gachechiladze, the chairman.

The list of candidates for remaining 7 positions as the opposition proposes was supposed to be presented by the presidential administration in parliament yesterday. "This list takes into account interests of all groups" - Mikheil Saakashvili noted informing of that.

However failed to find the list in parliament and at the president's administration.

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