The Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski, today at a press conference in the Government asked the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Communications and Environment, chaired by VMRO-DPMNE, to work continuously on a daily basis, until the amendment debate on the Draft Law on Audio and Audiovisual Media Services has ended.
He said that the opposition should think about the citizens’ interest, instead of struggling to keep its staff in the Council of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services (AAAMS) and in the Program Council of Macedonian Radio and Television (MRT) with a large number of amendments.
“We are not against the debate regarding the amendments, but it should end in a reasonable time. MPs from VMRO-DPMNE are against the public debate, i.e. public presentation of the candidates for members of the MRT Program Council and the Council of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services,”said Manchevski.
According to Manchevski, for four months the opposition has been making endless debates whose clear goal is to delay the passing of the law. In doing so, says the minister, VMRO-DPMNE submits contradictory amendments.
“The Committee has had only 6 sessions in which we’ve managed to pass 7 amendments only, with 67 remaining. With this pace, the law will be passed in 2 and a half years. The amendments propose that the mandatory domestic production program of MRT to be reduced from the current 50 to 40 percent, and with the amendments VMRO-DPMNE also demands reduction and increase, and proposes to be from 30 to 70 percent in seven different amendments,” said the Minister of Information Society and Administration.
He says the government will not give up on the intentions to deflect the influence of politicians from the media sphere and let the media outlets work in peace.
“We will not allow Macedonia to be regarded as a suppressed country where the media operates under pressure, blackmail and fear. The regulatory bodies, and especially the national broadcaster and the media outlets, should be left to the media workers,” says Manchevski.
“Mancevski made a textbook example of pressure on the legislature today with the intention of adopting a poor quality law that would allow for rough partization of media regulatory bodies”, VMRO-DPMNE accused, reacting at today’s press conference of the Minister of Information Society and Administration.
“SDSM is interested in adopting a law in a summary proceeding that will enable ruling with the help of media created darkness and deprivation of citizens from information about non-working, administration’s partization, abuse of power, harmful policies in all spheres, the impoverishment of citizens, the devastation of the state at home and internationally”, VMRO-DPMNE says.
The text is made within the framework of the project “Media Reform Observatory”, implemented by the Foundation for Internet and Society Metamorphosis, “Agora” Center for Promoting Civil Values and the Platform for Investigative Journalism and Analyzes – PINA, with the financial support of the “Foundation Open” Society – Macedonia “. The content of the text is the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be considered to reflect the views of the “Open Society Foundation – Macedonia”.