The Communications Commission, a regulatory body in the broadcasting and electronic communications field, has dismissed allegations that the government’s proposed changes to the law on electronic communications are a threat to media freedom.
The bill allows the commission to appoint its representative as a head of authorised entities in the electronic communications field if the entity refuses to pay a fine or enforce the decisions made by the commission.
The representative will be able to run the entity for two years and will be accountable only before the commission if the bill is approved by the parliament with at least 76 votes (in the 150-member legislative body where the ruling party has 92 MPs).
The opposition has called the bill ‘draconian, which will allow the government to interfere in the activities of media outlets prior to the upcoming, autumn parliamentary elections.’
Head of Journalist Ethics Charter Mariam Gogosashvili said that the bill, when adopted, may be ‘misinterpreted by the commission’ and it may appoint its representative (as a manager) to the regional broadcasters which are Internet, mobile-based (multiflex operators).
The Communication Commission says that the bill ‘has nothing to do with the media or broadcasting.’
The bill does not concern the Law on Broadcasting and has nothing to do with the media and broadcasting. The amendments are for the Law on Electronic Communications and concerns mobile and internet providers,” said the commission.
The commission claims that the bill will ensure the effective enforcement of its decisions in the electronic communications field.