Georgia’s Parliament has overruled President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s veto of a package of controversial amendments to Georgia’s Law on Broadcasting. Parliament voted on 21 February to adopt the original draft 83 votes to 13.
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has vetoed a controversial bill which would have allowed more advertising to be aired on the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB). Parliament can now choose consider comments from the president, or to overrule the veto.
The Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) is to rent equipment for a TV studio from a company owned by the son of former prime minister, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.
At the beginning of the month, the Georgian Public Broadcaster announced a plan to reorganise itself; the plan was consumer-oriented and would mean cuts in the broadcaster’s staff. Job cuts have also been announced in a number of other public sector institutions. On top of this, the government is displaying complete apathy towards ill-treatment and forceful dismissals of employees in the private sector.
A wave of protests unusually widespread for Georgian leftist groups hit the capital Tbilisi this winter, after revelations of dreadful labour conditions in the country emerged. The question is, whether the protests can be transformed into a genuine, grassroots left-wing movement.