The messenger logo

Problems continue in completing the GPB board

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, January 23
On January 22, the Parliament of Georgia voted for the candidates of the Board of Trustees of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB). However, several seats remained vacant after the first vote.

Meanwhile, a group of Tbilisi-based ambassadors called on the Georgian Parliament to compose the board in accordance with the law.

The Ambassadorial Working Group (AWG) released a special statement on January 21 stressing that they closely follow 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). 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 statement reads.

According to the AWG the selection committee established by the Parliament has vetoed 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,” the AWG said in a written statement.

The Parliament of Georgia failed to select the GPB’s board of trustees last month. Most of the candidates - representatives from the media and civil society- were nominated by a selection commission but could not gain support from the majority of MPs.

On December 27, only three members of the GPB board were confirmed, they were majority-nominated candidate Natela Sakhokia; minority-nominated Ketevan Mskhiladze, and the Public Defender nominated candidate Marine Muskhelishvili. The other candidates were neglected by the Parliament.

On January 21, the parliamentary minority nominated Darejan (Jana) Javakhishvili as their third candidate for the vacant position on the board, so that Javakhishvili together with Ninia Kakabade, Lela Gafrindashvili and Geno Geladze are to be voted again this week.

The head of selection committee Zviad Koridze, assesses the situation around the board negatively. Koridze thinks that the politicians try to choose the path of hidden bargains for selecting the board.

Georgian Dream MP Eka Beselia said that Gaprindashvili, a candidate by the public defender will probably be supported by the majority, as for Geladze and Kakabadze, the majority’s positions stay unchanged.