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The News in Brief

Thursday, December 29
Information about the owners of broadcasters must become public

Until January 1st, 2012, all broadcaster companies in Georgia are obliged to make the information about their owners public.

The National Regulatory Commission of Communications and the Public Register Agency have warned the broadcasters in Georgia about the deadline and the terms of the law today. It should be noted, that TV Company Rustavi2 is the only broadcaster in the country that has submitted the information about the owners to the commission.

`According to the amendments made to the law on media transparency, all broadcasters in Georgia are obliged to submit conformity declarations to the commission. The same information must be published on the websites of these companies,` the head of the PR department of the commission, Khatia Kurashvili has said.

She also added that special sanctions have been determined under the same law, which will be imposed against the broadcasters if they fail to submit conformity declarations to the commission. (Rustavi 2)

Tinatin Khidasheli – Bidzina Ivanishvili will Chair his Party and will be Number One on the List

Bidzina Ivanishvili will be the chair of his party and number one on the party list”, a leader of the Republicans Tinatin Khidasheli said during a press conference yesterday.

She said that the government had to restore Ivanishvili’s wife's citizenship, as the pressure was too serious.

“The pressure is great from hundreds of thousands Georgian citizens, who have supported this demand for months, as well as outside the country. Mikheil Saakashvili allowed his decree to be abolished. He will have to allow the second demand to restore the citizenship of Bidzina Ivanishvili. Number one on the party list and chairperson of his own party will be Bidzina Ivanishvili”, Khidasheli said.

Tbilisi City Court partially satisfied the lawsuit of Bidzina Ivanishvili and Ekaterine Khvedelidze on Tuesday. Namely, Judge Shota Getsadze annulled President Mikheil Saakashvili’s decree regarding revocation of Ekaterine Khvedelidze’s Georgian citizenship. As for restoration of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s citizenship, the court did not satisfy this part of the lawsuit. Lawyers are going to appeal the court’s decision. Bidzina Ivanishvili and Ekaterine Khvedelidze lost their Georgian citizenship as per Mikheil Saakashvili’s order of 11 October 2011. (Interpressnews)

National Movement Published List of Contributor Companies

The web page of the United National Movement published the list of 2011 contributor companies.

As the web page reads, by initiative of National Movement, considering the recommendations of Venice Commission of European Council and GRECO, parliament of Georgia will adopt additional mechanism for the transparency of financing political parties.

“Position of United National Movement is that society must be informed about financing political parties. They must have access to information about financing electoral and not election periods. National Movement publishes the list of the companies that donated to the National Movement in 2011”, the statement reads.

According to the table given by the web page, National Movement receive donation of GEL 1 520 000 in 2011. (Interpressnews)

President meets with PM, Agriculture Minister

President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili met with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture yesterday and listened to their report about the process of 30 GEL voucher distribution intended for spring agriculture works.

Saakashvili said the goal of the program is to encourage the farmers to cultivate larger land areas than before. President demanded detailed report about the problems tied with the registration of the tractors distributed to Georgian villages and their import.

President voiced the initiative according to which the persons, who purchased tractors by evading VAT and they are now hiding the tractors, will not be fined. In addition, the amnesty will be announced for the evaded taxes. The process of the legalization of the agriculture machinery is underway and it will be over by the end of January.

President said the most important moment in this program is to let the farmers use the imported tractors and cultivate agricultural lands without obstructions. (Rustavi 2)

Lasha Tughushi –Considering Proposal on Media Monitoring is Possible

Editor-in-chief of paper “Rezonansi” Lasha Tughushi feels that considering the proposal about media monitoring is possible in other laws apart from the electoral code , political will has decisive importance in it.

“Our proposal to provide free televised commercials from the state budget for the elections was rejected. There were various positions regarding television debates. Apart from the media monitoring proposal, parliament discussed a lot more issues and it was a difficult background. There was the opinion that making a decision would be better to cancel for spring session of parliament”, Lasha Tughushi said.

He says that despite the proposals didn’t enter the new electoral code, the norms can be regulated by other laws, namely the issue of commercials can be regulated by law on commercials and the issue of debates by law on broadcasting.

The government didn’t consider any of the experts’ initiatives about media monitoring for the elections.

The government considered that it’s inappropriate to amend the electoral code at this stage. MP Pavle Kublashvili said that the issues would be considered in law about broadcasting and changes would be made during the spring session.

Proposals by media experts concern the rule of staffing media monitoring groups. The experts also demand to separate “news” from commercial material, not to advertise any candidate that may influence society more than the commercial. They also demand to determine what a stealthy commercial is and to impose sanctions. (Interpressnews)