Media Advocacy Coalition expresses concern regarding the fact that the process of staffing the Board of Supervisors of the Public Broadcaster came to a standstill. The parliamentary majority and the members of the Parliament not in the majority should have presented six candidates yesterday, but the National Movement presented only two, and the majority – only one.
We think that the work of the Public Commission for selection of candidates was distinguished by impartiality, competence and a high standard of transparency, which caused public trust and interest towards the reform of the Public Broadcaster. A large part of the general public closely followed the interviews and debates broadcasted live by the Second Channel. After 10 days of work, the Public Commission presented a ranked list of 27 candidates.
Why the members of the Parliament failed to select candidates from the presented list is entirely unclear. The statements and action of the parliamentary majority cause a suspicion that they are interested not with the depoliticization of the Public Broadcaster, but with establishing their control over it. A risk exists that the Government may attempt to staff the Board of the Broadcaster according to political reasons by declaring the competition anew and creating a new Public Commission.
The Media Advocacy Coalition calls on the members of the parliament to respect the hard work and choice of the Public Commission approved by them, stand above party and political interests and fulfill their lawful obligation – select the candidates from the presented list.
We remind the Parliament of Georgia that for the first time in the last few years, the competition for the selection of the Board of Supervisors of the Public Broadcaster was organized in a competent and transparent manner; this was the first opportunity for the Board of Supervisors to be selected by politically impartial professionals. We think that the reform of the Public Broadcaster is a test of democracy of utmost importance for Georgia. By compromising this process, the ruling power will not only put in doubt their message regarding the liberation of media from political influences delivered during the last elections, but it also endangers the democratic development of the country.
Member organization of the Coalition:
Access to Public Information in Georgia 201930.07.2020
Non-Governmental Organizations’ call the Government of Georgia for Establishment of Independent Anticorruption Agency08.07.2020
Statement of the Media Advocacy Coalition26.06.2020