Who are the candidates for the position of director of Adjara TV and Radio - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
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Who are the candidates for the position of director of Adjara TV and Radio

04 October, 2022

Five applicants will compete for the position of director of Ajara TV and Radio of the Public Broadcaster. One of them is the current director, Giorgi Kokhreidze, whose term in the office expires in November.

The director of the broadcaster is appointed for the term of three years and shall be elected by a simple majority of five-member Advisory Board of the Ajara TV and Radio.

For the selection of the director, applicants will be interviewed on 29 and 30 September.

Giorgi Kokhreidze is the current director of Ajara TV and Radio. It took him six months and four attempts to get that position. Following a controversial impeachment of the previous director, Natia Kapanadze, the election of a new director turned out to be a lengthy process, thereby raising suspicions that the government protracted the process in search of a suitable candidate for the aim to change the editorial policy of the broadcaster. Indeed, once appointed as the director, Kokheridze started to persecute the journalists who were critical of the preceding processes. International and local organizations issued a number of statements concerning the pressure, harassment and dismissal of journalists. The monitoring results revealed the change in the broadcaster’s editorial policy in favor of the government after the new management took over the broadcaster.

According to media reports, after the appointment of Kokhreidze, three employees were fired, five employees were removed from the matters of editorial policy or/and transferred to other positions for various reasons, employment contracts were terminated for three employees, while four employees left the channel. As of today, up to 10 labor complaints against the organization have been filed with a court. The Public Defender established the violation of rights and discrimination against several former employees.

In 2014-2018, Giorgi Kokhreidze served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Georgian Public Broadcaster, elected upon the recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara. In 1999-2004, he was a member of the parliament of the fifth convocation from the political party, Citizens’ Union. Giorgi Kokhreidze is a founder of TV company “202” which was closed down in 2006.

Natia Tavdgiridze has a long experience of working at Ajara TV and Radio. She is the author, presenter, producer and film director of the program “One Day in the Village,” which has been aired on the Ajara TV since 2012. Between 2009 and 2012, she was a reporter for the program “Morning Wave” on the same broadcaster.

 

In 2014, Natia Tavdgiridze was a nominee from the political union “Assembly of Unity” for the self-government election. She lost the election and later thanked members of the Supreme Council of Adjara for the resumption of her TV program, though she did not provide any explanation on what those deputies had to do with the editorial policy of the broadcaster .

She is a doctorate student at the Batumi Shota Rustaveli University.

Irakli Giorgadze has been teaching at the Orthodox Christian School of Chiatura since 2018 and has also been a researcher at the Department for the Development of Cultural Heritage since 2016. In 2001-2021, he was the head of LEPL Training-Educational and Cultural-Creative Center of Chiatura; in 2005-2006 worked as a specialist of monument protection for the department of culture of Chiatura. In 2022-2004, Irakli Giorgadze led the bureau of the Majoritarian MP from Chiatura. In 2001-2002, he worked as a chief specialist in the Chiatura local government.

Irakli Giorgadze has a PhD in History, awarded to him by the Telavi State University.

Davit Chkhartishvili founded a political movement “Batumi Platform” in April 2018. The aforementioned platform criticized the performance of the government. A month after founding the organization, Chkhartishvili got employment in the agency of municipal services at the Batumi Mayor’s Office.

In 2015, Chkhartishvili held the position of chief specialist in the Batumi municipality. In 2012-2014, he served as the head of the tourism department of Batumi municipality; in 2006-2010, he was a majoritarian deputy in the City Council, while in 2005-2007, was the head of the newspaper “Adjara and Adjaria.”

Davit Chkhartishvili applied for the position of director of the broadcaster in 2016 and 2018 too, but was not elected by the Advisory Board back then.

Akaki Beridze has a long experience of working as a lawyer in private companies. In 2015-2018, he was a leading specialist of the office of Legal Issues Committee of the Parliament; in 2013-2015 was a chief specialist of the office of Human Rights Committee of the Supreme Council of Adjara.

He is an associate professor and delivers lectures in public law.