About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Public TV Board Reform Stuck in Limbo
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 Apr.'14 / 16:20

Ongoing reform of the Georgian public broadcaster’s board, an already dragged out process, actively pushed for by media advocacy groups, is facing further delays after the Constitutional Court ruled on April 11 that a key provision of the law, based on which the Parliament embarked on reform process, is unconstitutional.

Last year the Parliament amended the law on broadcasting, introducing, among other issues, new rule of composition of the board of trustees of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB); the new rule envisaged pre-term termination of authority of seven sitting members of the board from January, 2014.

In December, 2013 six members of the board filed a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court arguing that the provision of the law envisaging pre-term termination of their membership was unconstitutional.

On April 11 the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of applicants.

The ruling comes in the midst of ongoing process of composition of the new board of GPB. In accordance to the law, amended last year, the Parliament started composition of the new nine-member board earlier this year, but failed to complete it as lawmakers approved only four new members.

New competition was announced in March to fill five vacant seats of the new board; the process was nearing its end when the Constitutional Court’s ruling was delivered, which actually means that seven members of the previous board should retain their seats before their term expires.

Term of membership of four board members expires in 2015 and term of three others in 2017, according to Emzar Goguadze, chairman of the board, who was one of the applicants behind the lawsuit against the Parliament. That board became dysfunctional in October, 2013 after two of its members stepped down, leaving the board incapable to take any decisions because of lack of quorum.

The Parliament has yet to decide how it will address the Constitutional Court’s ruling. Some observers say that one of the possible options will be to amend the law and allow for the sitting members to retain their seats before their membership term expires in parallel to also allowing already elected new members to take seat in the board.

The respondent – representative of Parliament – argued during the adjudication that the new rule was required for securing composition of the new board transparently and it was impossible to combine new rule with preserving authority of sitting board members. The argument was rejected by the Constitutional Court.

The Constitutional Court said that pre-term termination of authority of sitting board members can only be acceptable in extraordinary cases, for example, when the sitting board poses threat to GPB’s independence or its efficient operations. The court said that the respondent did not point at such necessity during the adjudication of the case. The court also said that the new rule of composition of the board, even though “pluralistic and effective”, does not create any necessity for pre-term termination of authority of sitting members.

Some lawmakers from the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority said that they disagree with the Constitutional Court’s ruling, but “respect” it. Some GD MPs also pointed that one of the judges, presiding over the case, Konstantine Vardzelashvili, was deputy justice minister in 2004-2006, suggesting that he has links with the previous authorities.

Lawmaker from the UNM parliamentary minority group, Sergo Ratiani, said that the GD parliamentary majority group, “created this deadlock, but now we should all think about how to overcome it”

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2019, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
29