The authority of the GPB Board of Trustees selected by the new rule comes into force in case of the selection of at least 7 members of the board. This means that even if the candidates presented to the Parliament by the Supreme Council of Adjara, public defender, and parliamentary minority, are approved, the board will have only 6 candidates, and will not be able to make decisions.
The parliamentary majority and the group of MPs outside the majority don’t use their quota to name 3-3 candidates for the vacant positions in the membership of the GPB Board of Trustees. The parliamentary majority has so far named only one candidate, and MPs outside the majority named have named only 2. Consequently, the GPB Board of Trustees cannot be staffed in accelerated mode, as there is an incompliance with the amendments introduced to the law on broadcasting 20 November 2013, aimed at the board’s staffing at accelerated pace.
One of the authors of the amendment to staff the GPB board of trustees at accelerated pace is a Georgian Dream coalition member Ani Mirotadze. According to her, the objective behind the amendments introduced to the law was creation of capable board determining program priorities of the broadcaster.
“It would have been better if we had calculated it more profoundly. We didn’t know how many people would submit, or how many would satisfy the contest terms. Talking about why we hadn’t named the candidates if we wanted the boards be staffed at accelerated pace, is an incorrect thing. We couldn’t make it faster-we didn’t come to an agreement. We can’t settle the issue by hasty decisions,”- Mirotadze stressed in her conversation with Media.Ge
GPB Board of Trustees Member Selection Commission secretary Natia Kapanadze says that the parliament had formally cast lots to the candidates named and abated the process.
“If we follow the records of the law, we’ll see that the subjects were meant to select 9 candidates in the first place, than the Parliament was supposed to cast lots to each of those candidates separately. We have the following result now - 9 candidates haven’t been named, meaning that the requirement of the law hasn’t been met. The authority of the board comes into force after the selection of at least 7 members- in this case the parliament has reached an impasse,”- Natia Kapanadze told Media.Ge
A member of the United National Movement (UNM), the parliamentary minority, Sergo Ratiani links the failure in the staffing of the board of trustees to the incapacity of the Georgian Dream coalition representing the parliamentary majority. He says that the parliamentary majority had made the board incapable by approving the amendments that have been introduced to the law, while not naming the candidates for staffing of the new board.
“The majority hasn’t as well reached its own goals by the processes they have initiated. They represent the majority, have changed the law, and can name the candidates to staff the GPB Board of Trustees. The commission that has named 27 candidates is also approved by them. If they fail to chose from those candidates, then it’s their problem, their incompetence, lack of coordination and agreement,”- Sergo Ratiani told Media.Ge
Head of GYLA Legal Defense Center Eka Tsimakuridze believes that the failure in staffing of the GPB board of trustees at accelerated pace will affect the degree of the Broadcaster’s independence.
“The board determines the degree of the GPB’s independence. In addition, the board must ensure the correct functioning of the broadcaster. Deliberate procrastination of this process contradicts the objective that prompted the introduction of the amendments on the staffing of the board at accelerated pace to the law,”- Tsimakuridze reported to Media.Ge
At present, 3 members of the GPB board of trustees have been named in accordance with the new rule. With the Parliament’s decision from 27 December, the following persons have become members of the GPB board of trustees- Marina Muskhelishvili named by the public defender, Ketevan Mskhiladze named by MPs outside the parliamentary majority, and Natia Sakhokia named by the parliamentary majority-Georgian Dream.
At the draw of 27 December the candidate of the public Defender Lela Gaprindashvili, as well as the candidate of MPs outside the parliamentary majority Ninia Kakabadze, and Genadi Geladze-candidate named by the Supreme Council of Adjara, didn’t receive the sufficient number of votes to become a member of the GPB board of trustees. In 6 January 2014, the public defender, MPs outside of the parliamentary majority, and the Supreme Council of Adjara once again presented those candidates to the Parliament for approval. The Parliament must approve the 3 presented candidates within 10 days.