GJA postpones elections over disputes

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affail_lloydThe Elections Committee of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has postponed the elections scheduled for Friday March 31, 2017.

This is to allow for more time for the Election Dispute Adjudication Committee (EDAC) to look into the appeals and petition that have come before it.

Mr Lloyd Evans and Mr Mathew MacKwame who filed to contest the position of President and Vice President respectively have been disqualified in what the committee explained as failing to pay their dues on time to satisfy the ninety (90) days rule before the elections.

Mr Johnnie Aryeetey, the Director of Television at the GBC who is also contesting the presidential race has raised issues with the elections saying that allegations have been made that the incumbent GJA President, Mr Affail Monney who was seeking re-election was conniving with some of his administrative staff to short-change the good members of the association.

A statement issued and signed by Mr Bennedict B. Assorow, Chairman of the Election Committee on Thursday explained that the postponed followed the “inability of EDAC to meet the requirements imposed on it per Article 53 (v) which requires the Committee to consider the appeal and announce its decisions to the parties involved with a copy to the National Executive not more than four working days after receiving the appeal.”

The statement added that Article 53 (v) also states: ”In any situation where strict adherence to the time for lodging an objection, or an appeal may cause manifest injustice, the Elections Committee may postpone the election until the dispute has been finally resolved.”

It said a new date for the elections will be communicated as soon as the EDAC completes its work.

In another development, the Election Committee has written to all chapter heads of the GJA requesting that they provide it with a list of members of the Association in their respective institutions who have paid their dues up to at least the end of December 2016.

“This is to enable the Committee reconcile your list with the one published by the GJA Secretariat,” the statement said and requested that the list should reach the press centre by close of work on Monday March 27, 2019.

Meanwhile, two journalists have petitioned the Election Dispute Adjudication Committee over what they said were constitutional breaches in relation to the processes leading to the elections and the mandate of the current executive. 

The two journalists, Messrs Charles Benoni Okine and Enoch Darfah Frimpong of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) in their petition dated March 21, 2017 said, “We have serious issues about the legality of the elections called by current Executives to be held on March 31, 2017, which we believe will not be in consonance and resonance with the 2004 GJA Constitution, equity and social justice.” 

The GJA, which is an umbrella association responsible for promoting press freedom and welfare of Ghanaian journalists had planned to organise elections to elect new national and regional executives for the next three years on March 31, 2017. 

However, in the petition, addressed to the Chairman of the EDAC and copied to the Chairman and Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission, Chairman of Ethics and Disciplinary Committee of the GJA and the Chairman of the Election Committee, the two said the mandate of the current GJA Executives expired in March 2016 and since then no legal arrangements have been made to extend their mandate as of now, they have no power to appoint an Election Committee. 

The incumbent GJA president, Affail Monney, is facing stiff opposition as he seeks re-election.

-Graphic

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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