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President Igor Dodon About the TV Channels Affiliated to Socialists: ‘I’m not Interested in the Establishment of Holding Companies’

07 November 2019
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On 6 November, during Secretele Puterii program from Jurnal TV, the President of the Republic of Moldova and the unofficial leader of the socialists, Igor Dodon, commented the statements of Prime Minister Maia Sandu, regarding the strengthening of a new media holding company, affiliated to PSRM, after the leave of the former leader of the Democratic Party, Vladimir Plahotniuc. Dodon mentioned that he was not interested in the establishment of ‘holding companies and monopolies’.

When asked by the program moderator Alex Cozer to comment on the statements recently made by Maia Sandu at the 2019 Media Forum, according to which PSRM would create a new holding, Igor Dodon replied: ‘I’m not interested in the establishment of holding companies. It’s much easier to come to you, to go next to Mrs. Natalia Morari or to others. I have no problem to come here or to any other TV program. I’m not interested in the establishment of monopolies or holding companies. This is not sustainable, it won’t last in time.’

The President also commented on the recently obtained right of Accent TV channel (renamed into ‘Primul in Moldova’) to rebroadcast the content of the Russian Pervii Kanal TV channel. Igor Dodon argued that this had to be analysed in relation to State Duma’s declaration ‘against the oligarchic regime in the Republic of Moldova, where Mr. Plahotniuc's name was also mentioned’. ‘It was clearly said that Mr. Plahotniuc rebroadcasts in Moldova the content of the Russian Pervii Kanal and that every effort should be made to stop it, since it is used in political purposes. At this stage, it was decided that the rebroadcast in Moldova will no longer be made by Plahotniuc’s TV channels, but by other ones’, said Dodon, adding that he appreciated the fact that Plahotniuc was deprived of the right to rebroadcast the content of Pervii Kanal.

According to Dodon, it would be fair that every single foreign TV channel open their own representative company in Moldova and obtain themselves a broadcast license.

The President also spoke about the current membership of the Broadcasting Council (BC). He mentioned that the law did not allow the resignation of BC members and that the draft laws that could change the legal procedures in this case were to be discussed with the coalition partners.

Note that during the 2019 Media Forum held earlier this week, the Prime Minister Maia Sandu said that the spheres of interest in the media were currently redistributing in Moldova. ‘Another holding company, affiliated with PSRM, is getting strength. Accent TV has recently received the right to rebroadcast in our country the programs of the most popular Russian TV channel. A political pole has weakened and another one tries to strengthen’, Maia Sandu said.

Note that Telesistem SRL company, founded by Vadim Ciubara, owner of Media Invest Service (Медиа Инвест Сервис OOO – 100%), about whom RISE Moldova investigation journalists wrote that he was ‘the shadow adviser’ to the President Igor Dodon, obtained recently for Accent TV channel a broadcast license for nine years. Earlier, Telesistem SRL renamed Accent TV channel into Primul in Moldova, obtaining the right to broadcast the content of Pervii Kanal channel from Russian Federation. The so-called Socialists’ holding also includes NTV Moldova and Exclusiv TV channels (rebroadcast the programs of TNT Bravo), owned by the Socialist MP Corneliu Furculita through the PP Exclusiv Media company.

Previously, media researcher Victor Gotisan said for Media-azi.md that, once Accent TV obtained the right to rebroadcast the content of Pervii Kanal, the balance of powers in the Moldovan media sector changed dramatically.
Recently, media NGOs express their concern about the fostering of the concentration of media ownership in Moldova by the adoption by the BC of two decisions that facilitate the consolidation of the PSRM-affiliated media holding through companies and individuals close to this political party.

Media NGOs asked BC members to observe ‘not only the letter, but also the spirit of the law, so as to ensure media pluralism and not to admit the creation of dominant situations on the media market’.