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Thursday, May 23, 2024

PRESS UNION ELECTIONS CONTROVERSY HEIGHTENS – ELECTIONS CONDUCTED DESPITE INJUNCTION

Date:

LIBERIA – The Press Union of Liberia has been plunged into further conflict after the conduct of elections in wake of a court injunction.

Our Correspondent in Gbarnga says the 5th Congress of the union has elected Daniel Nyakonah as President, Bettie Johnson-Mbayo as Vice President, Akoi M. Baysay, Secretary General, and Julius M. Konton as Assistant Secretary for the Union.

The PUL was founded in Monrovia on September 30, 1964, to defend press freedom and free speech.

Prior to the holding of the controversial elections in Gbarnga Saturday, the Julius Kullie Kanubah for president campaign team had demanded a clean-up of the membership listing. The team had raised concerns about the qualifications of some members on the membership listing and requested a review; and because it was not done, they requested a boycott of the proceedings in Gbarnga until their demands are met.

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However, because the congress committee and the sub-committee on elections insisted to go ahead with the congress and subsequently the elections, the Julius Kullie Kanubah team prayed to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court for a writ of injunction which was served on the current leadership of the PUL.

Journalists who attended the congress said Daniel Nyakonah’s team had tried to overturn the injunction by filing an alternative writ in a magistrate court, which it is allegedly, was used to conduct the elections.

Declaring the controversial elections result on November 20, 2022, in Gbarnga, the chairperson of the congress sub-committee on elections and inauguration Ade Wede Kerkulah said the total number of ballot papers obtained for the president was 350; and that out of said number, Daniel Nyakonah got 333 votes, while Julius Kullie Kanubah who boycotted the elections, obtained 15 votes, with invalid votes of 2.

Lawyers representing the Kanubah’s Team said the congress and elections in Gbarbga were “kangaroo processes” and vowed to take advantage of the law.

They said the press union believed in the rule of law and therefore will not legitimize and process marred by fraud and illegality.

The Press Union has a total membership of over 1,400. With the boycott of the Kanubah team, only less than 350 members participated in the controversial congress.

According to those in attendance at the congress, ballotting for the elections started after 7 pm on Saturday, November 20, and ended by 2 am Sunday morning.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet and a product of Smart Media Group Inc. Our website, smartnewsliberia.com, covers a broad spectrum of news content. For inquiries or information, you can reach us at 0777425285 or 0886946925, or email us at smartnewsliberia@gmail.com or info@smartnewsliberia.com.

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