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The parliamentary commission for the media has annulled the competition for the selection of candidates to the position of member in the Broadcasting Council

20 October 2021
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The Parliament’s Commission for Culture, Education, Research, Youth, Sport, and the Media has annulled the decision to hold a competition for the selection of candidates to the position of member in the Broadcasting Council (BC). The MPs invoked as a reason the appearance of a draft law providing for the return of the public company Teleradio-Moldova under parliamentary control, as well as for a different numerical composition of the BC and another mechanism for appointing its members.

At the meeting on October 19, the head of the commission, Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei, suggested that the need to annul the competition stems from the new proposals to amend the Code of Audiovisual Media Services, which are aimed to adopt new rules for nominating candidates to the position of member in the BC. “In my opinion, the situation is clear. Unfortunately, since we currently have no accountability through law… I hope we will have it one day, and, since this draft law has been registered, the methods of nomination are changing, and, in addition, we don’t have all files complete or all the previously requested information. Not to mention the somewhat ambiguous provisions regarding the nomination of candidates by public entities,” Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei explained.

Previously, the commission announced that Victoria Stețcaia, Eugeniu Rîbca, and Ion Terguță were the candidates proposed by civil society organizations for the position of member in the BC. The three candidates were to compete for two vacancies.

However, on October 14, a group of MPs from the Action and Solidarity Party registered a draft law to amend the Code of Audiovisual Media Services, intending to reduce the composition of the BC from nine to seven members. Currently, the BC must consist of two members proposed by the Parliament, one member proposed by the country’s president and the Government each, and five members proposed by civil society organizations, but in the new formula the broadcasting regulator is to consist of three members proposed by parliamentary factions according to the proportional representation of the parliamentary majority and opposition, one member proposed by the Government and the head of state each, and two members proposed by civil society organizations representing broadcasting media.

In addition, MPs want the rejection of the BC’s annual activity report to entail “dismissal, by law, of the members of the Broadcasting Council.”

This is not the only draft law that concerns the BC. At the plenary meeting on September 30, the Parliament voted in final reading for the draft law providing, among other things, for the manner of dismissal of members of the BC, the Competition Council, and other public institutions. The draft law gives the Parliament the right to dismiss members of the BC and other authorities if their activity is deemed incompatible with their obligations, prerogatives, or duties. According to the voted document, the leaders of the Competition Council, the Broadcasting Council, and other public institutions will be sanctioned for inappropriate performance of their duties by dismissal, among other things.