OSCE urges Kyrgyz President to veto amendments that curb new public-service broadcaster's independence
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, today asked Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev to veto recent amendments to the country's broadcasting law, saying they would eliminate the independence of the public-service broadcaster, reported OSCE.
"The independence and autonomy of a public-service broadcaster are its most important features, without which it cannot offer a pluralistic range of voices and opinions," wrote Haraszti in a 9 May letter to President Bakiev.
The amendments, passed on 24 April by Parliament to the Law on Television and Radio Broadcasting, give the President the authority to appoint the Chief Executive of the National Television and Radio Company (NTRC) of Kyrgyzstan. The President would also nominate the entire membership of the supervisory board for approval by Parliament.
"These amendments to the law run contrary to its stated goal, the foundation of a truly pluralistic and independent public-service broadcaster," said Haraszti.
He asked the President to veto the changes, and return the law for revision to Parliament.
"The welcome fact that Kyrgyzstan was the first state in Central Asia to pass a law on public-service broadcasting makes it especially important that the necessary improvements are made," Haraszti said.