Appeal of Georgian civil society representatives to the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton
Dear Madam Secretary,
First and foremost, we would like to express our gratitude to the United States of America for its continuous support to our country. The upcoming 2012 parliamentary and 2013 presidential elections will play a crucial role in establishing democratic governance in Georgia and securing its stable development. Public access to pluralistic media still remains one of the key issues in our country. The recently published U.S. State Department’s Human Rights Report emphasized that “citizens had limited access to diverse and unfettered media.”
On May 7, 2012 Georgia’s non-governmental and media organizations submitted a package of legislative proposals to the Parliament which, if adopted, will be instrumental for democratic elections in Georgia. The must-carry and must-offer principles introduced in the legislative package deserve a special attention as they ensure public access to the independent television channels.
This initiative is supported by a strong majority of independent broadcasters, journalists and activists. We believe that by accepting the proposal the Georgian Government will address the controversy about informed citizenry in pre-election period.
Recognizing the importance of holding parliamentary and presidential elections in a fair and competitive atmosphere, and a need for pluralistic media environment, we would greatly appreciate your willingness to share the position of the U.S. State Department on these issues with the Georgian authorities at the official discussions during your visit to Georgia.
Tamar Chugoshvili, Georgian Young Lawyers Association
Eka Gigauri, Transparency International Georgia
Nino Lomjaria, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy
Irakli Melashvili, Freedom of Choice Coalition
Lasha Tughushi, newspaper Rezonansi