Georgia’s Ambassador to The WP: Democracy and Media Pluralism Thrive in Georgia

Georgia’s ambassador to the United States, Archil Gegeshidze, sent a letter to The Washington Post editorial board titled, “Democracy and media pluralism thrive in Georgia.”

The letter is a response to the October 27th article by the Washington Post,  “A seizure of a popular TV station would be a blow for Georgian democracy.”

In the letter, Gegeshidze says the article mischaracterized the state of democracy in Georgia.

“Since the current government came to power in 2012, Georgia has been making significant progress in improving the independence of the judiciary, media pluralism and basic human rights. On all accounts, Georgia is freer and more democratic than ever. The 2015 World Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders ranks Georgia 69th among 180 countries, up 35 places since 2012,” Gegeshidze writes.

According to Gegeshidze, the recently released World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators report underscores our progress. “Since 2012, Georgia jumped 16 places in accountability, 19 places in rule of law, 22 places in political stability and government effectiveness and 23 places in control of corruption.”

“The dispute over the ownership of the news station Rustavi 2 takes place against the backdrop of an unfortunate legacy. The case is rooted in the past, when arbitrary seizure of property and intimidation were part of everyday life in Georgia. The only way to settle this is through an honest and transparent legal process, with maximum attention from willing international arbiters,” Gegeshidze writes.

The letter concludes saying it is up to the courts to decide who the lawful owner is.

“No matter how the courts decide, democracy and a competitive media environment will continue to thrive in Georgia.”

02 November 2015 14:58