Parliament and those subjects who were able to nominate candidates when forming the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) Board of Trustees did not violate the law, - Chairman of Parliament of Georgia David Usupashvili said after meeting with the GPB Board of Trustees Selection Commission members.
29 January Usupashvili met with GPB Board of Trustees Selection Commission, thanked them for their work and spoke about formation of the Board of Trustees. According to him, the Selection Commission discussed all candidates and interviewed part of them within a limit period of time.
“At the meeting we spoke about issues that came up in relation to these processes. There were clarifications of legal character,” Usupashvili stressed and said that Parliament made all decisions within the law.
In response to journalists’ question whether or not the Commission will continue work with same members Usupashvili said that the process continues and in agreement with Parliamentary majority, minority, Public Defender and Adjara Supreme Council he will select new members. As for the Commission members themselves – part of them does not want to participate in the process of selection of remaining 5 candidates.
“I, as an individual will not participate in this process if I’m proposed to as if Parliament has already emphasized that already selected candidates were not acceptable, decision made by same members will be identical and it will complicate the process,” one of the members of the Selection Commission Natia Kapanadze said.
According to her, if Parliament continues with the clarification of the law that subject do not have the obligation to nominate candidates to the Board of Trustees, the crisis in the Public Broadcaster may continue.
David Usupashvili announced competition for selection of GPB Board of Trustees by new rules 27 November 2013. 11 December Parliament of Georgia voted for the selection competition which was to select candidates to the GPB Board of Trustees.
As decided by Parliament members of the selection commission were – journalist, Civil Development Institute Chairman of Board – Ia Antadze, journalist Nino Bekishvili, Executive Director of the Civil Development Agency Zviad Devdariani, lawyer, member of Board of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association Natia Kapanadze, Executive Director of the Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters Natia Kuprashvili, united civil movement Multinational Georgia Chairman Arnold Stepanyan, philosopher Zaza Shatirishvili, journalist Zviad Koridze and philologist Tamaz Jologua. They proposed 27 candidates to 9 vacant positions of the GPB Board of Trustees to parliamentary majority, parliamentary minority, Adjara Supreme Council and Public Defender.
Parliamentary majority did not use its quota fully and instead of 3 nominated to Parliament for approval only one candidate; MPs outside of Parliamentary majority nominated their candidate by violating procidures and Parliament did not approve one candidate nominated by Adjara Supreme Council and one candidate nominated by minority.
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.