“Government has failed to execute the Law on Broadcasting adopted by them and in this case we are in loss,” member of the Parliamentary majority Georgian Dream Coalition Tamar Kordzaia said at 27 January meeting with students at Liberalism Training Center. She clarified that by not nominating candidates to vacant position at the Board the parliamentary majority has not violated the Law on Broadcasting. According to Kordzaia, by the given decision Parliament has failed to be up to the mark.
Kordzaia said that Parliament appeared not to be ready for compromises due to which the process of formation of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) Board of Trustees was hampered.
“Despite such nihilistic attitude towards the fact that has happened, I believe, the law did its job to the best. We, MPs failed to do our job,” Kordzaia said.
According to Kordzaia, main achievement of the amendments made to the broadcasting law was that an absolutely independent commission has been formed, which was formed by competent individuals and which insured transparent process of selecting candidates.
“The law has created a system with which Parliament has trouble to fight with. Believe me, if it was not for the given system, for example Georgian Dream Coalition, current government, would very easily form the Board of Trustees with nine members from its favorable candidates. We can say that there was an attempt of interference from government, we can say that somebody has intension to control the GPB, but this time the given law has protected Parliament from interference,” the MP said. She stressed that by such decision Parliament has taken responsibility for the crisis created in the public broadcaster.
Kordzaia clarified that the process has been prolonged but there still is a chance for the public broadcaster Board of Trustees to be formed with dignity. According to her, the system of quotas insures consideration of the rights of minorities (majority – 3 members, MPs outside of parliamentary majority – 3 members, Public Defender – 2 members, Adjara Supreme Council representative – 1 member.)
“I cannot say that society is in loss now. For the moment we, government are in loss as we have failed to execute the law adopted by us. I think the situation is not good, but it is better. We must request for the given standard not to be dropped. You can freely trap the government. How long can government are saying that I do not like candidates or somebody has been late to apply for competition,” Kordzaia told students.
According to her, despite the fact that at the first voting she and several other member of majority supported candidate nominated by minority, at the second voting majority made the decision not to approve minority nominated candidates and she, as member of the given political team shares the responsibility.
Currently, the GPB Board of Trustees formed by new rules has only 4 members; 5 positions still remain vacant. Members of the Board of Trustees are – parliamentary majority nominated Natela Sakhokia, parliamentary minority nominated Ketevan Mskhilade and candidates nominated by Public Defender - Lela Gaprindashvili and Marina Muskhelishvili.
By legislation in order for the Board of Trustees to be capable it must have minimum 7 members. Accordingly the Board is unable to approve programming priorities and to approve broadcasting priorities and budget of Adjara TV and radio.