Public TV CEO election process provokes debate

With Azerbaijan’s Public TV CEO election scheduled for tomorrow,  civil society and media representatives have voiced dissatisfaction with its transparency. 

On 4 April the Public Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, or ITV, announced competition for the position of the General Director, with the deadline for applications being April 19.

Today (April 22) the National Television and Radio Council (NTRC) announced  the names of candidates on its website. According to NTRC, candidacy of four applicants (ShafiyevShamil, GuliyevJamil, MustafayevNijat and HuseynovEmin) has been confirmed.

The change in the Public TV leadership is taking place amid the general pre-election crackdown. Events in the run up to the Azerbaijan’s presidential election highlighted the public’s demand for a real public TV channel in the country. The fact that the pro-government media simply did not cover opposition events, caused an outcry among the civil society.

It seems however that the civil soceity’s demands for objectivity are not taken into account by media policy makers.

One of the candidates, Emin Huseynov, appealed to the current general director of ITV and the members of ITV’s Broadcasting Council (who will elect the General Director) requesting them to postpone the election to a later date and arrange a live debate of candidates on ITV’s air, as the members of ITV’s Broadcasting Council are not fully informed about the candidates, as in the application form the candidates could only provide a brief description of themselves.

The results of the competition are due to be announced after the tomorrow’s election which will take place at 11:00 am, Baku time.

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