Imedi TV Vows to Fight Against UNM’s ‘Revanche’

Imedi TV, the largest national broadcaster maintaining a strong pro-government editorial policy, said it switches to “emergency” broadcasting to squash the United National Movement party’s “revanche” ahead of October 30 runoffs.

In the special announcement on October 18, Imedi TV accused the largest opposition party of gearing up for establishing a “revolutionary headquarters and a hotspot of destruction” if they win any mayoral runoffs.

“From today Imedi will be on the frontline,” the network stressed, adding it will give airtime every day to the people who were morally “harmed” by the United National Movement administration.

“We all know what the UNM’s rule means for the people and media and we cannot allow its revanche,” Imedi TV stressed. “We believe the symbols and faces of the bloody regime should not be thinking of coming back to power, instead, they should be serving sentences as per court ruling.”

“It is our mission to speak the truth and not let the past that we all remember to return,” the channel asserted. The statement pointed to 2007-2008 developments, including the police raid on Imedi TV and subsequent change of ownership. Imedi TV argued its late founder, billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili, “fell victim to the fight for truth and against the regime and the violence.”

Imedi TV made a similar announcement in 2008, ahead of presidential runoffs between Georgian Dream-backed Salome Zurabishvili and United National Movement’s Grigol Vashadze.

Imedi TV was founded by late tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili in 2003. The network supported opposition demonstrations in 2006-2007. Following the government crackdown on the opposition, Imedi TV was raided by the police and suspended broadcasting through a court decision, only to re-open under new management loyal to the UNM.

It was returned to the Patarkatsishvili family in 2012, following the power handover from the UNM to GD. Patarkatsishvili’s widow, Ina Gudavadze was the sole shareholder of LLC Georgian media Group, which owned Imedi TV, Radio Imedi and GDS TV. 

But in 2021 she sold the group to Media Finance Group B.V., registered in the Netherlands and co-owned by Irakli Rukhadze. He is a business partner of ruling Georgian Dream party’s former chair Bidzina Ivanishvili.

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