The administration of Gagauziya Radio Televizionu (GRT) expresses dissatisfaction with the fact that GRT will be excluded from the list of providers that are included in the national coverage multiplex without competition. This initiative is provided for in the draft law amending the Audiovisual Media Services Code (CSMA), voted on in the first reading on July 13. In response, Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei, co-author of the project, describes as a “mistake” this previously granted facility to the regional public broadcaster GRT.
Voted during the plenary session of Parliament on July 13, the draft law includes several measures intended to support the de-oligarchization of the media, as well as the streamlining of the audiovisual regulatory authority’s activities, according to the authors, Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei and Marcela Adam, both deputies. Among other measures, the only provider that will be granted unconditional access to the national coverage multiplex without competition will be the national public provider – Teleradio-Moldova (TRM).
As a reaction, the President of the GRT’s Observation Council, Mihail Vlah, has called the draft law “an act of vandalism by the central power” and has convened a special council meeting. “We have decided to address the People’s Assembly and the parliamentary Committee for Human Rights and Interethnic Relations, so that they can make a decision regarding our situation at the nearest session. We perceive this decision as a form of limiting the rights of the citizens of Gagauzia, our autonomous responsibilities. We will certainly address the Interparliamentary Commission of Cooperation between Comrat and Chisinau, which includes the OSCE and all diplomatic missions, and we will see: is this democracy?! If they exclude unconditional access to the multiplex, they should do it for both public providers or at least justify the decision,” stated Mihail Vlah to Media Azi.
The interim director of GRT, Iaroslav Bulgaru, also condemns the Parliament’s decision: “For me, it is not clear based on what criteria GRT was excluded. I don’t understand why the deputies made this decision. How are we different from TRM? I believe that these decisions intend to corner Gagauzia.”
In response, Liliana Nicolaescu-Onofrei emphasized the difference between TRM and GRT. According to her, even though both are public providers, Gagauziya Radio Televizionu is a regional one, a status that does not necessarily guarantee the transmission of these services throughout the entire country. “I consider that granting this facility through previous amendments was a mistake. For GRT, an option to be included in the regional coverage multiplex should be sought. Unfortunately, any corrections we try to make – in any legal framework, not just related to television – will be perceived by them as intimidation,” said the deputy.
According to data from the Audiovisual Council’s website, the area of multiplex A, according to the Ministry of Economic Development and Digitalization of the Republic of Moldova, covers over 99% of
the territory of the Republic of Moldova.