Uphold Free Speech Through Your Vote

JOURNALISTS IN THE country are today expected to go to the poll to elect new corps of officers. The election this time is taking place at the headquarters of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) on Carey Street, Monrovia. The event which should have taken place on November 9 in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County was cancelled based on a writ of injunction filed by two aspirants who were disqualified by the PUL’s election commission.

TODAY’S PROCESS IS taking place because the two aspirants, Cholo Brooks and Omecee Johnson have withdrawn their lawsuit against the process after the interventions of many persons and groups, including the Publishers Association.

CANDIDATES FOR VARIOUS positions last Friday held a debate, during which time each of them outlined their platforms for the leadership of the union. According to the election commission, candidates qualified for position of president are Jacob N.B. Parley, K. Abdullai Kamara, Charles B. Coffey and J. Cholo Brooks.

CANDIDATES FOR THE position of Vice President are Jallah Grayfield, W. Omecee Johnson; and Siatta Scott-Johnson. Octavin T. Williams, Ade Wede Kekuleh and D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh are candidates for the position of Secretary General. Stephen Binda and Daniel Nyankonah are the two candidates vying for the position of Assistant Secretary General.

FOLLOWING THE CAMPAIGN which was characterized by allegations and counter-allegations as well as promises upon promises, today is now the ‘D-day’ when journalists will be required to make their choice with the thinking that those that will be voted for can move the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) to another after the administration of Mr. Peter Quaqua.

WHILE WE ARE asking our colleagues to go to the poll with a strong sense of belonging and urging them to conduct themselves orderly, we must vote in a way that will bring or increase the respect that the public has for journalists. We must go to the poll with no animosity but a strong sense that as champion for democracy governance we will respect the result no matter who wins. After all, following today’s exercise we will continue to be journalists, a group of people who believe and respect the views of others.

AS WE VOTE for a new leadership today, let’s commend the Peter Quaqua administration for having stood the test of time and upholding the protection of journalists. We are also congratulating the Quaqua administration for ensuring that Liberian journalists did practice good journalism which is the only way for a strong democratic society.  Bravo, to Mr. Quaqua and his team as the administration steps aside in accordance with constitutional provisions to have a new leadership.

WE ONCE AGAIN want to admonish all eligible journalists voting today to appropriately conduct themselves within the ethics of Journalism. Even though there were some obstacles to hurdle in executing our duties which resulted to court actions; let’s operate in a way that will bring respect to the noble journalism profession. For a better PUL, freedom of the press and speech; let’s vote wisely.