Foreign Diplomats’ Statement on Composition of Public TV’s Board

Ahead of renewed discussions in the Parliament on composition of the board of Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), a group of Tbilisi-based foreign ambassadors released a statement on January 21 calling for implementing relevant law in such a way that “a professional and independent” board is appointed.

Parliament failed last month to fully compose GPB’s board of trustees after the lawmakers snubbed most of the candidates, which were selected and proposed for confirmation by a selection commission, which was made up of media and civil society representatives. The work of this selection commission was widely hailed as transparent and professional and rejection of 27 candidates for nine vacant board seats, selected by this commission, triggered protest of many media and civil society groups. On December 27 only three new members of the board were confirmed by the Parliament, leaving six seats in the board vacant. The Parliament is expected to discuss and hold a repeat vote on proposed candidates this week, but if it again fails to elect at least four more new members, a new competition has to be announced. The nine-seat board should have at least seven members to make it operational.

“The Ambassadorial Working Group (AWG) closely follows the latest developments related to the media environment in Georgia. We take note of the adoption of amendments in 2013 to the Law of Georgia on Broadcasting regulating the selection of the Board of Trustees at the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB),” reads the statement by the ambassadorial group, which mainly brings together Tbilisi-based diplomats from OSCE participating states.
“We believe that the law must now be implemented in such a way that a professional and independent Board of Trustees at the GPB is appointed, and the Georgian media environment is further reinforced.”

“The selection committee established by the Parliament has vetted nominees and selected a list of 27 candidates in a transparent and rigorous manner, in accordance with the requirements of the law.”

“As the world looks for Georgia to uphold the democratic ideals of pluralism, media freedom and transparency, we look forward to seeing the selection process completed by the Parliament, as intended by the law,” reads the statement.

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


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