The messenger logo

Situation at GPB still unresolved

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, October 8
Chairman of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) Board of Trustees Emzar Goguadze said at a briefing on October 4 that he and other trustees have been requested to resign from the board's membership. Goguadze accused Georgian Dream (GD) MP Irakli Tripolski in placing pressure.

According to Goguadze, a day ahead of the dismissal of Giorgi Baratashvili from the post of Director General of GPB, he had a conversation with Tripolski. “Tripolski told me not to distrust Baratashvili, or he would collapse the whole board. I do not know how he knew about our plans for Baratashvili,” Goguadze stressed. Goguadze believes that the board members Avtandil Antidze and Eka Mazmishvili resigned from the board because of pressure. According to him, another member of the board, Nino Danelia, has also been pressured. The Parliament of Georgia has accepted the resignation statements from Mazmishvili and Antidze. This means their authority has been terminated.

Tripolski said the claim of Goguadze that he has threatened him is absurd. Tripolski confirms he has met Goguadze, but he has not put pressure on any of the members of the board. “I have no connection with the board. Whoever needs that Board? It will expire in 2 months anyway, if I wanted to be there, I would not have left the position of trustee,” stated Tripolski. He was a member of the board in 2008.

At present, 7 members remain on the Board of Trustees. According to Article 80 of the General Administrative Code of Georgia, the Administrations of the President and Prime Minister of Georgia are obliged to within 5 days, send the statement for resignation and other relevant documents to the Parliament of Georgia.

If less than 8 Trustees remain on the Board it will not be able to approve the new Director General of the GPB, but the deadline for applications to the vacancy expires October 12.

Along with that the GPB needs minimum GEL 2,500,000 loan for launching the new TV season. The Board of Trustees must give consent for taking a loan to the GPB Management. 7-members of the Board of Trustees do not have the legal right to make such an authorization.

The Coalition for Media Advocacy believes that it is necessary to stop putting pressure on members of the Board of Trustees and interfering in the activities of the GPB. The crisis situation in GPB should not cause changes in the principles and dates of implementation of the planned reforms. According to the coalition, the Georgian government should take advantage of all means defined by the legislation to overcome the financial crisis and not to hinder the functioning of the GPB.