Public TV Board Chair Elected

The Georgian Public Broadcaster’s board of trustees elected today Georgian Dream-named member Vasil Maglaperidze as its chair for a three-year term.

On the position, Maglaperidze replaced Irina Putkaradze, a Public Defender’s nominee whose term on the board expired recently.

Maglaperidze received the backing of five members of the eight in attendance — himself, Bondo Mdzinarashvili, a nominee of the Kremlin-friendly Alliance of Patriots, Grigol Murguia and Mikheil Chikviladze, GD-named members, and Izabela Osipova, Public Defender’s nominee.

Zaza Abashidze, a European Georgia party-named member and Besik Liluashvili, picked by the Adjara Supreme Council, were against electing Maglaperidze. Liluashvili himself contended for the chair’s post, but only received two votes — his own and Abashidze’s.

Meanwhile, Lasha Tugushi, recently elected under the Ombudsperson’s quota abstained from voting altogether. He had instead pushed to postpone the session for at least a week, until the Parliament fills the final vacant seat on the board, under the opposition’s quota.

As per the GBP rules of procedure, the 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.

Following the vote, Maglaperidze vowed that the board shall take more responsibility “in terms of both [quality] control and assurance.”

The freshly-elected board chair has previously served as the Deputy Chair of the Georgian Dream party, in January-March 2021. Prior to that, he held the post of Georgian Public Broadcaster’s General Director.

The Media Advocacy Coalition, uniting over a dozen watchdogs, had warned electing Maglaperidze to the board would “deal significant reputational damage to the idea of creating an unbiased public broadcast.”

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