By a decree of the RA President of January 20, 2005 a competition was announced
to fill in the vacancies in the Council of Public Television and Radio Company
of Armenia. February 1 was the deadline for the application submission. We did
not make a statement during the application process not to interfere with it.
Presently we think it necessary to reinstate our stance on the mechanism of
broadcasting regulatory bodies formation.
We state that the RA Law “On Television and Radio” and the practice of its
implementation, in particular the present competition, does not correspond to
Armenia’s commitment to the Council of Europe about the transformation of state
broadcasting into public and to international standards.
Amendments to the Law “On Television and Radio”, adopted on December 3, 2003,
according to which the vacancies in the Council of Public TV and Radio Company
(as well as in the National Commission on Television and Radio) are filled by
a competition, are allegedly stemming from the CoE experts’ recommendations.
Yet, even at that time, having compared the proposals of the experts and the
amendments made, we noted that the latter ones do not in any way comply with
the essence and purpose of the recommendations to ensure the greatest transparency
of regulatory bodies formation. In particular, the Law does not stipulate the
procedure for forming the competition commission, leaving it completely at the
discretion of the President of the republic. If previously the head of the state
directly appointed the members of the Council, he now appoints them out of the
winners determined by the commission he had formed.
We qualify the amendments to the Law and the competition announced basing on
them to be an imitation of democratic procedures and will keep insisting on
the need for real reforms.
Yerevan Press Club
Journalists Union of Armenia
Internews Armenia public organization
Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression
February 3, 2005