Term of Chairmanship to Press Council of Azerbaijan Extended
Azerbaijan, Baku, 20 June /corr. Trend E.Babayev / Amendments and annexes were made to the Charter of Press Council of Azerbaijan during the congress of the Azerbaijani journalists on 20 June.
According to the amendments, hereinafter the Chairman of the Council will be elected for four years, but not two years. According to other change, the head of the organization may be re-elected for more than two terms.
The amendments to the Charter led to intensive debates during the congress. The Chairman of Union of journalists 'Yeni Nesil', Arif Aliyev, said that these amendments should not be made. Otherwise, Azerbaijan will be removed from membership to Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe. He red the letter sent to the Alliance and reflecting his concerns about the suggested innovations.
In addition, Aliyev said that if the amendments are made to the Charter, the election of the Chairman of the Press Council should be postponed. According to the current legislation, the amendments shall come into force after being registered by the Ministry of Justice.
The teacher of journalism faculty of Baku State University, Zeynal Mammadli, also protested against such improvement of the Charter. According to him, Azerbaijani journalism will not gain any benefits from such changes, but just against, will appear in swamp.
Other member of the Press Council, Gulu Maharramli, criticized the project of amendments and annexes. He said that the Charter of the Council should not correspond with the interests of one person. "Changes to the Charter are aimed at holding the position of the current chairman," he said.
Other participants of the congress positively assessed the amendments and annexes. After discussions, the project was presented to voting and adopted. Of 214 representatives attending the congress, only nine protested against amendments and three abstained.
The Press Council of Azerbaijan was established on 15 March 2003 at the first congress of the journalists. Since its establishment, the organization has been chaired by Aflatun Amashov.
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