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Opposition Concerned over Freedom of Speech
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 Feb.'04 / 19:09

The opposition parliamentary factions expressed concern regarding the speculations that the government is mounting pressure on independent televisions.

Recently, two leading television stations – Rustavi 2 and Mze – simultaneously stopped broadcasting of the popular political talks shows, which were on air every night except the weekends that sparked rumors over the possible pressure on the TV companies from the authorities.

“We want to know whether these speculations are real or not, because we have doubt that the talk shows were canceled because of the government’s pressure on the TV companies on the eve of parliamentary elections,” Irakli Mindeli of Socialists opposition party said at the parliamentary bureau session on February 9.

“There are some vivid indications that the talk shows were canceled because of the authorities’ interference in the independent televisions’ activities,” Gubaz Sanikidze of the Traditionalists opposition party said.

Nino Burjanadze, the Parliamentary Chairperson, denied rumors. “As far as I know both - Rustavi 2 and Mze are intending to launch the new projects and this became the main reason for cancellation of the talk shows,” Nino Burjanadze said at the parliamentary bureau session.

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