Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) and MP Pridon Injia are at odds after the regulatory body accused the lawmaker of lobbying his business interests in the parliament, and of holding a business company position in violation of the law.
The accusations came after MP Pridon Injia from the opposition European Socialists Party alleged that the GNCC’s work needs “parliamentary inquiry.” Speaking at the Economic Policy Committee meeting, MP Injia claimed that there are questions about the regulatory body overseeing broadcasting and electronic communications. MP Injia also suggested that the extent of these violations might even require the creation of a special investigative commission.
In the February 23 statement, GNCC blamed MP Injia for using the tribune for his personal business interests, and accused him of having a conflict of interests, as as he and his close relatives own shares and hold managerial positions in several electronic communications companies regulated by GNCC.
Specifically, GNCC underscored that by serving as a supervisory board member of Systemnet, a Georgian private communications company, MP Injia violates Georgia law about the incompatibility of duties, as a public servant should not be a permanent head of a business entity, or a member of a supervisory or an auditing body.
GNCC also suggested that MP Injia violated the Code of Ethics of the Parliament’s with the “misleading comments and false accusations,” and slammed the MP’s statements as an attempt to meddle in its independence.
Responding to GNCC, MP Injia slammed on February 24 the regulatory body’s accusations as “absurd,” claiming he left his company positions in a timely manner following the law. He then alleged that the GNCC’s violations are costing the national budget GEL 6 million (USD 1.8 million).
GNCC issued another statement on February 25, regarding MP Injia’s position in the private communications company, saying that the Public Registry’s record shows how the deputy “tried to conceal his violations” by leaving the post on February 24, only after the GNCC’s first statement.
According to the Public Registry’s record, MP Injia left the position in the Systemnet’s supervisory body on February 24 instead of envisaged 10 days after taking the mandate in the parliament, while his “close relatives” still hold the posts violating the Georgian law, GNCC said.
MP Injia, who entered the Parliament after the October 2020 elections in defiance of his Alliance of Patriots boycott, quit his party and found European Socialists Party together with three former AoP members. All four represented the so-called business branch of the AoP. Earlier, in 2002-2004 Injia served as Labor MP. In 1995-1998 he served as Communications Minister under President Eduard Shevardnadze.