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General Director of Georgian Public Broadcaster resigns

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, November 23
Giorgi Baratashvili, General Director of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), officially left his post on Monday.

Baratashvili, whose term in office was to expire in December 2018, said his decision had nothing to do with politics and it was linked to his future plans and a better job offer.

Moreover, Baratashvili believes that the GPB needs new leader who would bring new life to the broadcaster.

“This step has nothing to do with politics. It is my personal decision and it is connected to my future plans,” said Baratashvili, who applied to Board of Trustees of GPB with a resignation letter on November 21.

Giorgi Baratashvili had worked as General Director since December 28 2012. His decision to quit the post, turned out to be unexpected for the members of the Board of Trustees.

Several candidates have already been named to the vacant post. Nino Zautashvili, the host of the program Real Space confirms that she is going to take part in the competition.

“I wish luck to the applicants; especially to myself!” said Zautashvili, and underlined that she would be an appropriate choice for the post.

Tinatin Berdzenishvili, Director of Media and Communications will serve as acting General Director, until the new head is elected.

Various Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and media analysts call on the GPB to provide more detailed reasons of the Director’s resignation, in order to exclude political motives.

Transparency International Georgia says the elections of a new head should be transparent.

“It is important that the new Director General was free from political affiliations and a professional, who has the people’s trust,” stated Nino Topuridze from the Transparency Georgia.

A media expert from the Georgian Charter of Journalistic Ethics, Nata Dzvelishvili, says it is strange that Baratashvili resigned directly after the parliamentary elections.

“Baratashvili was a Director who was fighting for his legal powers and there was no indication that he intended to step down,” she added.

The head of the Board of Trustees of GPB, Grigol Gogelia, says the board will appoint a competition in 10 days, after which the participants will be able to file applications.

“After the competition is opened, the Board will have 10 days to elect a new Director,” he stated.

Giorgi Baratashvili was the fifth Director General of Public Broadcaster, which is funded from the state budget. None of the Directors have yet completed their terms to the end.