TV Imedi has released the following statement in response to Former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia’s statements:
“Yesterday, the former Prime Minister, Giorgi Gakharia, in his statement, once again equated the rule of the United National Movement and media environment back then with the current situation in the Georgian media space. Moreover, he insulted our channel and staff by accusing us of hiding reality from the viewers and staging “imitated Kronika.”
“Such demagogic statements are the signature of the “United National Movement” and is categorically unacceptable for us. On November 7, 2007, the government, with the participation of many independent state bodies (Prosecutor’s Office, court, police, and many others), raided our channel and then expropriated it. Until 2012, Imedi, like all major media organizations in the country, was controlled by the United National Movement and the “owners” appointed by them.
“The “Imitated Kronika” and other examples of ugly journalism on “Imedi” belong to that period. It is very important that no one forgets this. Along with insulting us, we saw a request to participate in tv programs that the former prime minister called “Imitated Kronika.”
“Imedi” is the highest rated TV company in Georgia, which enjoys the highest trust of the public. Given this, the desire from qualified or unqualified election subjects to see themselves on our air is completely natural, but our channel can not act on the basis of the requests of the “United National Movement” and politicians who are openly or secretly connected with them.
“We have always had questions about why Giorgi Gakharia resigned and thus enabled the “United National Movement” to create another crisis in the country; why his rhetoric about snap elections and that of “United National Movement” coincide etc., but his last step dispelled any doubts: according to him, he is the third political force after the “Georgian Dream” and the “United National Movement.”
“Nevertheless, he decided to get involved in the fight for mayor of Tbilisi, in which only one person should win. Before joining this fight, Kakha Kaladze and Nikanor Melia – one of the leaders of the “United National Movement” were involved in this fight. According to all opinions polls, Kakha Kaladze was due to win the elections convincingly. The former prime minister, as a third force (according to him), has no chance of winning and he knows this very well. This means that his involvement is aimed at disrupting the existing balance in favor of the leader of the United National Movement.
“Now the most important thing – Imedi TV is an independent, private company, one of the main goals of which is to prevent the revenge of the United National Movement in Georgia. Within the framework of this goal and the legislation of Georgia, “Imedi” decides itself who, when and in what role should be invited to the TV channel.”
The former Prime Minister of Georgia and now the chairman of the opposition party “For Georgia” accuses Imedi TV of “hiding the reality.” He wrote about it on social media.
“I appeal to Imedi TV, your TV was first forced by the “National Movement” and now the organization “Dream” is forcing you to feed your own viewers with “imitated Kronika” and one-sided information!
“One is that you do not cover our activities and events, you hide reality from your own audience, and the other is that you invite everyone to the air, allowing everyone to talk about us, to insult us, and we aren’t even allowed to answer!
“Therefore, I am appealing to you once again, not only I’m ready, but I demand live broadcast on any of your TV programs!” Gakharia wrote.
By Ana Dumbadze