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GPB Board Composition Process Reaches Deadlock - Media Advocacy Coalition



Media Advocacy Coalition is concerned since, according to the Coalition members, the process of the composition of the Board of Trustees of the Georgian Public Broadcasting (GPB) has reached deadlock, the coalition said in its statement released on December 26, 2013.

Below please find an unofficial translation of the statement:

“Parliamentary majority and the MPs outside Parliamentary majority were to yet the day before yesterday present their candidate. United National Movement presented only two candidates and majority - just one.

We believe the ad hoc public commission composed to select candidates was characterized with impartiality, competence and high standard of transparency, having ultimately invoked public trust and interest towards the reformation of the public broadcaster. A considerable part of the society was rather keenly watching live interviews and debates aired on GPB Channel 2. Following a 10-day operation the ad hoc commission presented to the Parliament of Georgia a ranked list of 27 candidates.

It’s absolutely unclear why the MPs failed to select required number of nominees out of the proposed list. The statement s made by parliamentary majority and their actions raise serious doubts that they show no concern into depoliticizing the public broadcaster, but exercising control on it. The ruling force is quite possible to try to politically staff the Board through announcing the contest anew and composing a new ad hoc commission.

Media Advocacy Coalition calls on MPs to show respect to the work performed by the Commission approved by them and their choice and, stand above narrow political interest and follow their legal responsibility – select candidates out of the presented list.

We would like to remind Parliament that in the recent years this is the first time the contest for Board membership has been organized in a competent and transparent manner. This is the first opportunity to staff the Board with politically unbiased professionals. We believe the reformation the public broadcasting is an important test to Georgia democracy. Obstructing this process the ruling force will not only question its pre-election message about liberation from political influence but also jeopardize democratic development of the country.”

The Coalition members include Open Society Georgia Foundation; Georgian Young Lawyers Association; Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics; Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters; Regional Broadcasters Network; Regional Media Association; Media Club; Press Association; Levan Mikeladze foundation; Institute for Development of Freedom of Information; Civic Development Foundation.
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