Renewed call to extend must-carry- news piece by DF watch

12 Sep, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Democracy groups in Georgia repeat their demand that the must-carry and must-offer principles must be extended beyond Election Day.

Three campaigns consisting of NGOs and media presented a joint statement Wednesday. The three campaigns are: This Affects You Too, Georgian National Platform and Coalition of Media Advocacy.

They say government representatives expressed their readiness to reconsider the decision to sequester the property of TV company Maestro and give the company a chance to expand their users.

Lasha Tugushi, the editor in chief of newspaper Resonansi, added that according to the new agreement Maestro should cooperate with the postal service. He said that those who are well off have always been able to get access to varied information, the important segment is people with low income. But the TV company Maestro will not give them satellite dishes for free.

The representatives of the non governmental organizations see the initiative by the government as positive and hope society will be able to watch all channels and exclude the suspicions about bribery of voters.

Eka Gigauri, the head of Transparency International Georgia (TIG) said that at first the government was categorical about changing their decision, but then the situation changed and the progress is easy to see.

The representatives of the non governmental organizations hope that the Interagency Commision and Maestro will agree about the technical issues very fast.
Keti Tsikhelashvili, head of Georgian National Platform said, that it’s very important to solve all the problems before election day, October 1, without violating the rights of voters.

It’s very important for media pluralism to expand the principles of Must Carry and Must Offer. The principles affected on election period positively, as gave the users opportunity to get various information-was written in the statement.

The members of organizations call the government to expand the principles of Must carry and Must Offer and express their readiness to cooperate with parliament about this issue.