Court rules Media Council’s Klubrádió tender decision unlawful

Opposition radio station Klubrádió has won another court victory against Hungary’s media regulator when a Budapest court ruled on March 5 that the Media Council’s decision invalidating the station’s tender application was unlawful. The decision is one of a series of successful court verdicts for Klubrádió, in what has become a lengthy battle by the station to keep its 95.3 MHz frequency. In the latest decision, the court ruled the Media Council’s failure to complete the tender procedure could be unconstitutional, according to the Associated Press.

While the Court’s decision appeared to give the Media Council no choice but to award the frequency to Klubrádió, the Media Council issued a statement indicating it may launch a new tender competition for the license. “From the Media Council’s standpoint, in conformity with the court’s latest decision, use of the Budapest 95.3 MHz frequency could be granted through a new procedure,” the council said in a statement, the AP reports.

The ongoing battle between the Media Council and Klubrádió, which is openly critical of government, has become a flashpoint for critics of the media laws, who question the independence of the country’s new media regulator. The body is composed of all members who were nominated and elected by Hungary’s governing party.