RTV Slovenija boss challenging successor’s appointment in court

Ljubljana – Public broadcaster RTV Slovenija director general Igor Kadunc has filed a lawsuit over the appointment of Andrej Grah Whatmough as his successor. One of the key requirements for the post, a minimum of three years of managing major administrative systems, has not been observed in the appointment procedure, Kadunc said Thursday.

Kadunc, who filed the lawsuit on Wednesday, believes that Grah Whatmough does not meet formal criteria for the post when it comes to a requirement of at least three years of experience and skills required for organising and managing major administrative systems.

The appointment procedure is hence contestable, he said in a press release issued today, adding that he decided to appeal the decision because of respect for the basic principles of appointment procedures and RTV Slovenija and not for his own benefit.

“My term ends on 24 April, a fact on which the outcome of the suit will have no impact,” Kadunc said.

The suit has been filed because “citizens have a right to demand that if a coalition-coordinated director general is appointed, they at least meet formal criteria set down by law, the statute and common sense”, he said, noting that leadership experience was key in managing the public broadcaster.

Kadunc moreover criticised the RTV Slovenija programming council commission, which deemed applications of all three candidates for the post acceptable in regard to fulfilling relevant criteria.

Meanwhile, the programming council members erred in appointing Grah Whatmough, “however they mostly did nothing to establish the facts because that was not in their interest”, Kadunc said.

He thinks that Grah Whatmough’s appointment was “an appointment of the best possible candidate who had been coordinated with the coalition even though everybody knew or should have known that he does not meet the basic requirement”.

Grah Whatmough, the chair of the RTV Slovenija supervisory board, was appointed the new director general by the programming council on 25 January. He received 14 votes in the first round of voting and was then endorsed by the majority (18 votes out of 28) on the programming council in the run-off against Natalija Gorščak, the director of the broadcaster’s TV division.

Kadunc was eliminated in the first round, having received six votes. Grah Whatmough is to take over as director general on 25 April.