A joint statement of the MDF and GDI in connection with the Public Broadcaster

The Media Development Foundation (MDF) and Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI) express concern about the situation that has developed in connection with recruitment of members of the Board of Trustees of the Public Broadcaster. The fact that the parliamentary majority only nominated one candidate for the Board of Trustees, instead of three as required by law, and refused to support half of the candidates for the Board membership at the session of the Parliament raises legitimate questions as to how well the parliamentary majority had realized the practical aspect of the model it had proposed when it approved the corresponding legislative changes.

The aforementioned model envisages reaching a consensus among political forces regarding the candidates for trusteeship, which has not taken place this time, considering the results of the nomination of candidates and drawing of lots. It should also be noted that the legislation does not envisage a mechanism that would oblige a person responsible for nominating the candidates to use this discretion fully. However, the law (Article 26.13) allows the authorized subjects to nominate the same candidate from those selected by the Board of Trustees Selection Commission twice.

We express hope that all the political subjects, and, first of all, the parliamentary majority, will act responsibly in relation to their legislative initiative, by not only normative declaration, but also practical implementation, and find a way out of this situation. This would dispel the perception that the ruling team manages the process according to political expediency and neglects the professional skills and public reputation of the candidates for trusteeship when making decisions.