Igor Boțan: Amendments made by PAS to Audiovisual Code can lead to division of society

Expert Igor Boțan drew attention to the dangers posed by the proposal to amend several articles of the Audiovisual Code. “This makes society be divided. Some say there is political will as PAS has the people’s mandate. Others say that there were others in power who had good intentions, but we saw that the good intentions meet with a wall that didn’t allow reaching normality. We cannot know if they succeed. There is also a psychological aspect: we know that until now those who were named by Parliament, the Government and so on in the Republic of Moldova practically always showed their gratitude to those who named them. This was evident. We cannot therefore be sure that from now on, with the good intentions of PAS, we will not have the same situation: those who will be named will not have this feeling of gratitude to the PAS government, after this amended the law,” Igor Boțan stated in IPN’s public debateReturn of Teleradio-Moldova under Parliament’s Oversight: pluses and minuses, benefits and risks”.
Igor Boțan explained that a step backward is taken so as to later advance swiftly towards normality. But there are questions here as there is no certainty that this step backward will not last forever. “We see the attitude of the citizens and experts to all the reforms started by the current government. The attitude can be expressed this way: if they have a fresh mandate from the people and have political will, as long as they do not break the Constitution, there are lawmakers who can implement this political will and arrange things in a different way. The big problem is that we don’t know whether they succeed or not. If they succeed, everyone will forget about the made compromises. Everyone will applaud. If they do not succeed, things will worsen and will become worse than the state of affairs they inherited. If things fail, they will be to blame for the bad precedents they set. And we thus do not have many reasons to believe that they will succeed,” said the expert.

According to him, the problem related to the Code of Audiovisual Media Services derives from the fact that the PAS government lays emphasis on the parliamentary control over the institutions that use public funds. “The amendments made to the law are aimed at replacing the management of Teleradio-Moldova. The Audiovisual Council will no longer organize a contest to designate the director general – the managerial board,” stated Igor Boțan, noting the ruling party decided to abandon the contests because there is an abnormal situation in Moldova and these will be restored when normality is established.

The expert also said the government considers the law is good, but parliamentary control should be strengthened as it goes to public funds. This control that can lead to the dismissal of the manager of the given institution as a result of the provision of reports might be later also abandoned.

The public debate entitled “Return of Teleradio-Moldova under Parliament’s Oversight: pluses and minuses, benefits and risks” is the 210th installment of the project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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