Parliament established on May 1 ad hoc investigative commission to probe into the activities of the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC).
MP Tina Khidasheli of the Republican Party from the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority group chairs the commission.
The twelve-member commission, where half of the seats are occupied by GD lawmakers, was established for the term of three months.
The Parliament voted in favor of setting up investigative commission in early March in order to look into “serious allegations” persisting against GNCC.
GNCC is charged with the issuing licenses for broadcasting and electronic communications activities and overseeing this sector.
Setting up of the commission was initiated by GD lawmaker Zurab Tkemaladze, who chairs committee for sector economy; he said in March that the parliamentary probe into GNCC was stemming from complaints received from some communication service provider companies, including Akhtel and Akhali Kselebi. MP Tkemaladze said at the time that the probe should focus on “serious allegations” against GNCC, involving alleged abuse of powers, forging of documents, failure to enforce court rulings and conflict of interest of GNCC members.
GNCC consists of five members, elected by the Parliament for a five-year term.
Since 2009 GNCC was chaired by Irakli Chikovani, who filed for resignation in April. Chikovani is a former general director and former co-owner of Rustavi 2 television station, who also had business interests in one of the major advertising company.
U.S. Department of State’s 2012 human rights report on Georgia says that Chikovani “owned a major advertising agency, which represented a direct conflict of interest because he received income from the advertising company regulated by the agency he headed.”