NEW RULES FOR ROTATION IN CEM
Raicho Raikov, Marko Semov and Raina Nikolova won't take part in the rotation of the Council for Electronic Media (CEM) this year if the National Assembly passes the amendments to the Radio and Television Act, approved during the week by the Commission on Civil Society and Media. Currently, the law stipulates that the rotation should be made each two years and that the lot should be valid for everybody. The MPs from the NMSII Vessela Draganova and Yani Yanev proposed that the members who entered the supervision most recently should not participate in the rotation. The above-mentioned three members were elected or appointed when CEM was renewed in 2003. In that way the members' mandates won't coincide with the mandate of bodies which elect them, i.e. the President and the National Assembly, Mr. Yanev explained the motives for the proposed amendment. That will guarantee that CEM won't fulfil political orders.CEM's Chairman Ivo Atanassov explained there was long ago mutual understanding about the necessity of amending the media law in that specific part, but their voting became possible only now. The amendments were supported by the deputies from BSP, NMSII, MRF, UDF and BNU. Ataka and DSB voted against the them. The fact that the voting of such an amendment is about a month before the rotation causes serious suspicions that the changes are of a lobbyist character, Svetoslav Malinov from DFB said. It would be more logical to do that afterwards in order to avoid all suspicions.I don't see any reason in giving privileges to some at the expense of others, Dimiter Stoyanov from Ataka added. CEM has been already renewed according to the currently effective order and an amendment t the law would distort its philosophy.The case regarding the rotation of CEM members is currently discussed by the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC). In spring CEM's nine members made a decision that all of them would take part in the rotation. The decision, however, was appealed by Mr. Raikov and Ms. Nikolova. A 5-member team of SAC is to extend its ruling on the case.