A group of thirty-six civil society organizations released a statement on the controversial amendments to the Law on Broadcasting, welcoming President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s decision to veto the bill and calling on the Parliament to uphold the presidential objections.
“We welcome the decision of the President of Georgia to veto the amendments to the Law on Broadcasting, which among other issues entails the introduction of non-transparent public procurement procedures for the Public Broadcaster, as well as the increase of the commercial advertising period and other problematic issues,” the organizations noted.
The CSOs believe the amendments bill “will significantly increase the risks of non-transparency and corruption,” and “will harm private broadcasters and the overall media environment in Georgia.”
“Therefore, we call on the Parliament not to overturn the presidential veto and … ensure that the amendments are formulated in a way that will not harm the media environment and will be in line with the role and the function of the idea of a public broadcaster,” reads the statement.
The legislative bill, approved by the Parliament last month and vetoed by President Giorgi Margvelashvili yesterday, envisages further expansion of powers of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), and has attracted heavy criticism from civil society organizations and private broadcasters previously as well.