Justice Minister to propose dismissing head of Latvian broadcast watchdog

Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns (New Conservative Party) will begin to look for ways for the dismissal of National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP) chairwoman Dace Ķezbere, the minister told the press May 8.

Bordāns believes that as head of the broadcast watchdog, Ķezbere has weakened the media, and added that the competition for the new board of Latvian Television organized by the NEPLP was a weak one.

In regards to the NEPLP's other board members, Bordāns was not as categorical, but added that ''this does not mean we will not look into their work as well'''.

Now Bordāns, in tandem with the Justice Ministry and Saeima legal experts, will look for a mechanism to dismiss the chairwoman of the NEPLP. He added that this must be a legally correct procedure.

Bordāns said that it is necessary to look for ways to reform the NEPLP. ''This will be done together with the legislative power, so as to introduce a more effective supervisory over this institution. We also do not want to see political control over it,'' Bordāns added.

The board of the Latvian broadcast watchdog has come under pressure after it dismissed top LTV executives late last year and then ran a controversial competition to replace them. 

NEPLP's choice for board members was severely criticized by politicians and the media with the result that the two executives selected revoked their posts before assuming them.

NEPLP is the institution that represents the public interest in the field of electronic mass media.

LSM English is part of the same umbrella public service organization as Latvian Radio and Latvian TV.

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