A competition to fill seven vacant seats in the public broadcaster’s 15-member board of trustees will be announced in coming days, Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Bakradze, said on October 13 after meeting with parliamentary minority lawmakers.
“All those parties, who expressed interest and took part in the process of political consultations, will be able to participate in the process of selecting candidates,” Bakradze told journalists after the meeting, which was also attended by public broadcaster’s genera director, Gia Chanturia, and board chairman, Levan Gakheladze, also participated in the meeting.
Only the parliamentary minority lawmakers were engaged in this process of consultations. Most of the non-parliamentary opposition parties refused to participate, citing that nominating of seven members in the 15-seat board with limited powers would not reduce the authorities’ grip on the television. The Conservative Party initially announced about willingness to participate in the consultations, but its representatives were not present at the meeting on October 13, as well as at the previous meeting on October 8. The party said it was not invited.
Bakradze said that it was regretful that non-parliamentary opposition was not participating in the process, saying that “very often some politicians have an inconsistent approach and if these people have any complaints towards the public broadcaster’s activities, setting up a balanced board of trustees is the only way for settling all these problems.”
MP Levan Vepkhvadze of the Christian-Democratic Movement said after the meeting that candidates would not be party activists or affiliated to any political party.
Bakradze said that the issue of increasing powers of the board of trustees was also discussed at the meeting. No concrete proposal has yet been tabled in this regard.
The board of trustees has little say in the broadcaster’s editorial policy. Its function is limited with only setting the broadcaster’s programming priorities in general.