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Communications Commission Chief Resigns, Quotes ?Political Pressure?

Chairman of the National Regulatory Commission for Communications Vakhtang Abashidze resigned today, explaining decision with ?mounting political pressure on the commission.?

The commission was to announce its decision on awarding of the 9th channel – TV broadcasting frequency, which covers almost entire territory of Georgia and is highly desirable for the competing private TV companies.

The Rustavi 2 broadcasting company and Technomedia, reportedly owned by Tbilisi-based tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, contest for the rights over the 9th metric channel.

?I have already filed resignation to the President of Georgia. I was under political pressure regarding the transfer of the 9th metric channel to the new owner. We can not to take impartial decision under these circumstances,? Vakhtang Abashidze said at the session of the commission on October 24.

Badri Patarkatsishvili maintains close relations with the government and has invested in the election campaign of the pro-governmental bloc. On the contrary, Rustavi 2 is known for its critical coverage of the political news. Government’s attempts to close down the station have trigerred mass protests in October 2001.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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