TI Georgia calls on Parliament to investigate Irakli Chikovani
Transparency International Georgia is calling on the Parliament to investigate if Irakli Chikovani has violated his responsibilities or was engaged in any misconduct as Chairman of the Georgian National Communications Commission – a case that has been discussed by civil society organizations and in the media for several months. According to the GNCC website, Chikovani last Friday resigned from his position as Chairman but apparently plans to continue to serve as a member of the 5-member Commission.
Chikovani reportedly has not been at work since November 2012, for the first two months he had officially taken vacation time. It appears that he has failed to attend GNCC meetings without being excused for more than two months, which according to the law would consitute violation of his professional duties.
If any misconduct of Chikovani is found, the Parliament should take appropriate measures, including by launching impeachment procedures. If no misconduct is found, then the GNCC will finally be able to continue normal operations under a new Chairperson.
Commissioners of the GNCC enjoy a high level of immunity which is supposed to protect them from undue political interference in their work. According to the Law on Broadcasting, only the Parliament is able to establish if a Commissioner has violated his duties. We believe that the controversy around Chikovani and his long absence from work has been undermining the operations and the reputation of the GNCC and Parliament should move to finally end this case.