PUL To Launch Debate For Candidates Tomorrow…Opens Book Of Condolence For Zoegar Jaynes Today

The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) will tomorrow launch a nationwide effort to bring together candidates for the December 16 special senatorial election to discuss their plans for their candidacy with the electorate.
The debate, to be held in each of the 15 counties, will be launched with in Kakata, Margibi County, with the support of the International Research Exchange (IREX) and the USAID. The Press Union of Liberia has also partnered with the Federation of Liberian Youths (FLY) in providing the platform that will allow 139 certified candidates to come face-to-face with voters.
The debate will be broadcast live on community and national radio stations in the counties. To provide a wider participation, the sessions will take screen questions through calls, social media and text messages from citizens.    “The Press Union sees the debate as an opportunity for candidates and electorate to interact under cordial conditions, whereby their aspirations and concerns will be shared,” PUL President K. Abdullai Kamara said in a statement issued in Monrovia Thursday.
Issues about the Ebola virus prevention will also feature during the debate, where candidates would be encouraged to advise their respective supporters to abide by the safety measures.
Generic questions including the positioning of young people as well as women and children in the country’s development will be put before candidates for response during the debate.
“FLY wants to ensure that candidates explain what vision or plan they have for young people and how they can be held accountable when elected,” FLY President Augustine Tamba noted.
Moderators of the debate including journalists and civil society actors have been trained and prepared to conduct the debate throughout the country since April and May this year.
PUL will work with FLY to set up three teams that will organize the debate in each of the counties. The debate climaxes in Montserrado on December 12, 2014.
In another development, the PUL will today open a book of condolence in memory of fallen Liberian journalist Zoegar Q. Jaynes.  The book will open at 11am at the Union’s Clay Street Headquarters in Monrovia for journalists and members of the public to pay their last respect ahead of Zoegar’s final journey on Saturday, November 29.
According to family sources Zoegar’s remains will be removed from the St Moses Funeral Home in Gardnersville on Saturday morning and taken to the Providence Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon. Funeral rites starts at 10 am and the remains will later be interred in Brewerville, outside Monrovia.
Zeogar, a career journalist, veteran sports reporter and sportsman died Thursday evening (Nov 13) in Monrovia while seeking medication at a local clinic following a sudden illness. The PUL has described Zoegar’s death as a painful blow to the Union and the journalism profession in Liberia as he was a very committed member of the journalist union.
Zoegar served two terms as Financial Secretary of the PUL, served the Grievance and Ethics as well as the Sports and Entertainment Committees of the Union, besides captaining the union’s soccer squad—the Pen Pushers. He traded his professional career at state radio ELBC and the Catholic-run Radio Varitas, mentoring scores of young journalists.  Zeogar lately served as a consultant at the Ministry of Finance just before his demise.    His sudden death has shocked the Liberian media landscape, with many young journalists describing him as a role model.
Meanwhile, the PUL has announced that it will hold a memorial event in memory of all journalists who have fallen to the deadly Ebola virus, when the country is declared Ebola free. Journalist Yaya Kromah was the first casualty, followed by Alexander Koko Anderson, former employee of the Liberia Women Democracy Radio and Cassius Saye, a cameraman at Real TV. Long-time language announcer Sitonneh Wiah is the latest victim.

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