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Public TV, Parliament to Sign Deal on Second Channel
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 Feb.'09 / 18:55

The Parliament plans to sign a memorandum with the Georgian public TV on transforming the broadcaster’s Second Channel into a political programming, Davit Bakradze, the Parliamentary Chairman, said on February 9.

Bakradze offered last November to switch the public TV’s Second Channel to solely political programming providing live coverage of statements and press conferences by politicians and political parties. He said the move aimed at giving opposition more opportunity for delivering message to voters amid allegation of the government control of the nation-wide TV stations.

The Parliamentary Chairman said on February 9, that efforts were underway by the public TV’s management to reorganize the Second Channel for that purpose.

He said that efforts also involved technical upgrade of the channel with an aim to cover the entire country. This particular issue was a source of concern of some opposition parties saying that the proposal would not be effective as the channel did not cover the entire Georgia. Despite this initial skepticism, the opposition Conservative Party criticized the authorities last week for a delay in delivering its promise in respect of the Second Channel. Officials, including from the public TV, responded that reorganization required some time.

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