The Georgian daily Rezonansi described new Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze’s remarks on ‘politician journalists’ as his “first major mistake.”
While outlining official preconditions for the resumption of Imedi TV broadcasting, PM Gurgenidze said on November 28: “We believe it isn't right that journalists, who have gone into politics or are engaged in politics for a long time, remain in journalism.”
Although he did not name names, the prime minister's comments are widely seen as a reference to Giorgi Targamadze, a popular anchor and head of Imedi TV’s political programs. Targamadze said he had no intention of quitting Imedi TV.
“This warning can be regarded as an unwitting mistake made by a rookie politician,” Rezonansi wrote. “It seems that the prime minister still doesn't realize that he is no longer the head of a private firm [Gurgenidze was chief of the Bank of Georgia], but the head of the government, and that with power comes responsibility, too. On top of that, someone who came from the business world should know very well that the authorities have no right to interfere in the staffing policy of private companies.”