Parliament Confirms Two for Public TV Board

Parliament has confirmed two candidates for six-year tenure at the Georgian Public Broadcaster’s board of trustees, the ruling Georgian Dream party’s pick Vasil Maglaperidze and the Public Defender’s nominee Lasha Tugushi.

Tugushi garnered unanimous backing with 108 votes, while Maglaperidze received the support of the GD, with 83 votes in favor and 19 against.

The Georgian Dream and the Public Defender had picked the two candidates from a shortlist of ten, selected by a parliamentary commission. There were in total three openings on the board of trustees.

The third candidate, Lika Shavgulidze, picked by the United National Movement, received 31 votes, falling short of the 76 needed to secure the post.

The GPB board of trustees is comprised of nine members in total, with three nominated by the majority, three by the opposition, two by the Public Defender and one by the Supreme Council of Adjara Autonomous Republic.

About the freshly-elected board members

Vasil Maglaperidze served as the Deputy Chair of the ruling party for a brief stint from January 2021 to March, when he resigned citing health concerns.

Prior to that, he had served as the General Director of the GPB since 2017 before resigning in August 2020, ahead of the hotly-contested parliamentary elections.

The Media Advocacy Coalition, uniting over a dozen watchdogs, warned the Parliament on April 11 that endorsing Vasil Maglaperidze for the GPB board would “deal significant reputational damage to the idea of creating an unbiased public broadcaster.”

As for Tugushi, since 2022 he is a co-anchor of Palitra TV talk show Resume, while since 2011 he has served as the Editor-in-Chief of English-language online news outlet DFwatch. He has also thought a course in populism and its influence on ongoing political developments at the Tbilisi State University since 2020.

Tugushi in 1995-2018 also worked as the Editor-in-Chief of Resonance, a Georgian daily newspaper.

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