4 October Coalition for Media Advocacy circulated a statement stressing that the Coalition believes situation created in the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) to be alarming. The Coalition believes that:
- Pressure on the members of the GPB Board of Trustees and interference with the independent work of the GPB must be stopped;
- Facts of pressure on the members of the GPB Board of Trustees and interference with the work of the GPB must be investigated;
- Crisis situation created in the GPB should not result in the change of planned reform principles and deadlines;
- Georgian government must use all the legal means in order to overcome the financial crisis and avoid hampering of the continuous work of the GPB.
Coalition circulated the given statement after 4 October members of the Board of Trustees publicly spoke about pressure being put on them. Trustees Emzar Goguadze and Nino Danelia declared they have been requested to resign from the Board by Georgian Dream representatives. Along with that two Trustees Avtandil Antidze and Eka Mazmishvili wrote resignation statements.
Coalition statement reads that seven Trustees remaining on the Board are not authorized to make decisions.
“Since the dismissal of the Director General, the GPB is managed by acting Director. The process of closing down of programs and launching new projects goes on in nontransparent way and without consultation with the society. By official clarification the GPB is in grave financial crisis which creates threat for eligible functioning of the channel.
The current situation once more confirms the necessity to implement in the GPB of the reform that has been initiated by the Coalition for Media Advocacy. Coalition initiative has been reflected in the Law on Broadcasting, which along with other issues provides for coming into force of new rules for the formation of the Board of Trustees starting 1 January 2014,” Coalition statement reads.