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New Board of Public TV Approved
/ 26 Feb.'08 / 18:52
Civil Georgia

Parliament elected the nine-member board of trustees of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) on February 26.

The new board members are:

Bakur Sulakauri – a publisher
Giorgi Anchabadze – an historian and academic;
Erekle Tripolski – founder of Marao Studio
Irma Sokhadze – a singer;
Zurab Kharatishvili – chief executive of KPMG-Georgia audit company;
Mikheil Chiaureli – film director;
Marina Vekua - professor at the Georgian University of Social Sciences;
Levan Gakheladze - PR manager of the Ilia Chavchavadze State University;
Mamuka Pachuashvili – co-editor-in-chief of the daily 24 Saati (24 Hours);

The board was pre-agreed between the authorities and the opposition before the vote. The board was elected from 27 short-listed candidates.

It has emerged that the opposition chose Erekle Tripolski, Irma Sokhadze and Mikheil Chiaureli.

The board has now to elect a chairman and then a director general of the GPB, replacing Tamar Kintsurashvili. The latter’s resignation has been an opposition demand for some time. Kintsurashvili said recently that she would resign only after the new board of trustees was elected.

Agreement on the board was the result of ongoing talks between the opposition and the authorities. There was also approval of number of constitutional amendments, with one of them envisaging parliamentary elections in May. President Saakashvili has now to set the exact date.

The talks also resulted in three more people arrested in connection with the November events being released on February 26. Eleven, what the opposition calls, ‘political prisoners’ have now been released, but the opposition says others remain in prison.

Talks will now move on to the composition of new election administrations. The resignation of Central Election Commission Chairman Levan Tarkhnishvili is a scalp the opposition is particularly keen on having. The talks are expected to drag on till mid-March.

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