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Saturday, July 20, 2024

KANUBAH AND SIEH’S CAMPAIGN TEAM WELCOMES LANDMARK COURT DECISION ON PUL ELECTION FRAUD

Date:

MONROVIA – The National Campaign Management Team of Julius Kanubah and Beatrice Sieh for the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) leadership has issued an official response to the recent ruling by the Judge of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Gbarnga, Bong County. In a statement delivered by Mr. Julius Kanubah and signed by Raymond K. Zarbay, Chairman of the National Campaign Team, the team addressed the ruling from the Trial Court delivered on June 18, 2024.

The statement, released on June 26, 2024, emphasized the significance of the court’s decision, which came 18 months after the team filed a Petition for Declaratory Judgment and a Petition for Preliminary Injunction. The petitions were aimed at addressing substantial violations of the PUL Constitution by the outgoing leadership of Charles Coffey and related committees. The Kanubah-Sieh team accused the Coffey leadership of orchestrating membership registration fraud to manipulate the PUL leadership election.

Mr. Kanubah criticized the “sham, mock electoral exercise” conducted by the Coffey leadership, which he described as an assault on the democratic foundation and moral standing of the PUL. He highlighted the various legal and extra-legal means employed by the Coffey leadership to install an illegitimate leadership, despite prominent advice from respected media practitioners and even a mandate from the Supreme Court.

The Kanubah-Sieh team expressed gratitude to the Supreme Court justices who overturned the controversial mandate of the late Justice Joseph Nagbe, thereby upholding the rule of law and ensuring due process. The team also detailed their participation in numerous mediation efforts, both local and international, to resolve the dispute, all of which were ultimately rejected by the Coffey leadership.

The team praised the ruling of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court as a victory for integrity in the PUL, setting a powerful legal precedent against electoral fraud. The ruling mandates the formation of an eleven-member committee to conduct a rerun of the 2022 PUL elections, which the Kanubah-Sieh team fully supports. They emphasized their commitment to a new era of reform and democratic accountability within the PUL, guided by principles such as accountable leadership, impartial advocacy, and support for women in journalism.

Additionally, the team underscored the importance of this ruling in maintaining the ethical standards and integrity that form the core foundation of the PUL. They believe this decision sends a strong message that electoral fraud within the organization is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The Kanubah-Sieh team is confident that this ruling will prevent any future attempts to undermine the democratic processes of the PUL.

The team also highlighted their plans to develop strategies for the short, medium, and long-term stability of journalism in Liberia. They aim to improve the quality of journalism to support the country’s democracy and address the challenges posed by declining media revenues. The team is committed to making the PUL a professional entity that upholds 21st-century standards of integrity and excellence.

In light of the court’s ruling, the Kanubah-Sieh team is calling for the immediate implementation of the ruling to ensure that a legitimate leadership is elected and installed by October 18, 2024. They believe this will help restore confidence in the PUL and its electoral processes, paving the way for a brighter future for the organization and its members.

Furthermore, the team expressed their gratitude to the members of the Press Union of Liberia, the journalism community, the Government of Liberia, and international partners for their continued support and interest in the PUL. They reiterated their commitment to promoting and defending the rights of journalists, free speech, and the rule of law in Liberia.

The Kanubah-Sieh team also reaffirmed their dedication to the six pillars of transformative change they advocate for: accountable leadership, impartial advocacy, construction of the PUL headquarters, support for women in journalism, sustainable and inclusive media development, and the formation of media hubs in the counties. They believe these pillars will guide the PUL towards a future of integrity, professionalism, and growth.

The Kanubah-Sieh team concluded it remains steadfast in their mission to redeem, reform, and develop the PUL. They are determined to lead the union into a new era of reform and democratic accountability, ensuring that the organization remains a beacon of ethical journalism and a defender of free speech in Liberia.

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