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20.02.2014 15:13

Candidates to GPB Board of Trustees membership lodge lawsuit against Parliament

Gela Bochikashvili

Individuals who have participated in the selection competition to the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) Board of Trustees have lodged a lawsuit against Parliamentary majority MPs and MPs outside of Parliamentary majority.  Kutaisi City Court accepted the lawsuit by Board of Trustees candidates 14 February. 

Candidates to GPB Board of Trustees appealed to Kutaisi City Court 7 February.  Applicant side claims that Parliamentary majority and MPs outside of Parliamentary majority have violated the Law on Broadcasting by not using their quotas. 

The lawsuit was lodged at the same time by 8 candidates – Mikheil Mirziashvili, Nazi Janezashvili, Anna Jiapshipa, Ucha Seturi, David Mchedlidze, Joseph Salukvadze, Nugzar Suaridze and Konstantine Chlaidze.  They believe that Parliamentary majority and MPs outside of Parliamentary majority should have used their quotas completely. 

“It is important for the Court to discuss the lawsuit and clarify the disputable article of the Georgian Law on Broadcasting, which will promote adequate execution of the Law and recreation of public confidence to the process,” statement circulated by the candidates to the Board of Trustees reads. 

68 applications were received to the competition for GPB Board of Trustees membership announced 27 November 2013.  Parliament-approved competition commission shortlisted 27 candidates from which Parliamentary majority, MPs outside of Parliamentary majority, Public Defender and Adjara Supreme Council were to nominate their candidates for approval. 

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. 

In parallel, Georgian Constitutional Court accepted lawsuit lodged by the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) Board of Trustees against Georgian Parliament.  By 19 February decision the Court suspended the norms of the Law on Broadcasting according to which the GPB Board of Trustees must be formed by new rules, until final verdict on the case is made.  

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