Former Prime Minister of Georgia, founder of NGO Citizen Bidzina Ivanishvili ties the incomplete formation of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) Board of Trustees to the fact that society was not adequately aware of the process. This was said by Ivanishvili at 4 February press-conference.
According to him, Chairman of Parliament of Georgia hurried when conducting these processes and “did not take up to adequate level” the public awareness about them.
To Netgazeti journalist’s question if he has consulted majority representatives on the given issue Ivanishvili replied:
“You are asking if I interfered and if I gave consultations? I had the desire to do so, but I learnt about these processes when it was already completed. There was impression that the society was not aware of the process; we all saw the result.”
Ivanishvili clarified that the accusation of Parliamentary majority in an attempt to take over the GPB is not correct, as in that case the majority would have conducted the processes faster.
“I far as I know same persons are being proposed to be members of selection commission in the new competition. Usupashvili told me that all of them will be proposed membership; if they do not want it is their problem. They must continue work – those who can and who has trust from the society,” Ivanishvili stressed.
According to him, it was possible to form the GPB Board of Trustees from the selected 27 candidates, but, despite that, those also who did not participate in the process due to low awareness must have a chance to participate in the competition. According to Ivanishvili, previously selected candidates will again have possibility to compete.
“This is another chance to monitor processes and to see once more if the process goes democratically,” Ivanishvili stressed.
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 procedures 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.