As members of the Press Union of Liberia preparing to go to the Congress of the Union in the auditorium of the University of Liberia, a supporting group of one of the presidential candidates, Octavin T. Williams, ‘Team Octavin’ has written the Chairman of the PUL Election Committee, Ambassador Jarwalah A. Tonpo outlining what the group called ‘series of constitutional violations orchestrated by the incumbent President of the PUL, Charles Coffey.
Below is the letter from the ‘Team Octavin’ address to the PUL Election Committee Chairman:
Amb. Jarwalah A. Tonpo
Press Union of Liberia (PUL) Election Committee
44 Clay Street, Monrovia
Republic of Liberia
5 November 2019
Letter of Complaint
Dear Mr. Chairman:
I write to bring to your humble attention series of constitutional violations orchestrated by the incumbent President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Mr. Charles Coffey, in regards to the pending leadership election of the Union.
For several days, Team Octavin for PUL Presidency and Leadership, which includes Presidential candidate, Mr. Octavin Toegar Williams; Vice Presidential candidate, Mrs. Weemon J. Cole-Boye; Secretary General candidate, Mr. E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor; and Assistant Secretary General candidate, Mr. Jutonu Kollie have and continue to request for the final voter roll in keeping with the guidelines of the PUL Elections Commission but to no avail.
#Team Octavin had anticipated a fair and transparent process leading to the PUL elections, but we have observed that the incumbent PUL President and his lieutenant, Secretary General Daniel Nyakonah, have repeatedly and flagrantly violated the organic law of our noble and esteemed Union.
In so doing, #Team Octavin likes to bring to your attention few several PUL Constitutional provisions violated by Mr. Charles Coffey and his lieutenant, Daniel Nyakonah.
Article 4: Section 1: Membership shall open to all persons in the following categories:
(i) Full Membership of the PUL shall be granted to Liberian journalists who hold degree(s) in journalists who have practiced for five years with recognized and accredited media institutions, employed by or freelancing with either electronic or print media institutions.
(ii) Full Membership shall also be granted to journalists who have practiced for five years with recognized and accredited media institutions, employed by or freelancing with either electronic or print media institutions.
Article 18: By Laws of the Union
- Section 1: Application for membership to the Union shall be done in writing in the Secretary-General who shall present same to the Membership Committee for action.
- Section 2: An approved applicant can enjoy membership rights based on the category of membership sought and granted.
- Section 5: The PUL fiscal period shall be from October 1 to September 30. The annual registration of members shall be from November 1 to January 31 each year. The Union leadership shall publish latest first Monday of February full membership register for the fiscal period. Members who fail to pay or renew their annual membership shall forfeit their rights as provided by this Constitution.
PUL Constitution: Article 10 Section 7:
- The Membership Committee, with the approval of the PUL leadership, shall publish in not less than two local dailies registered members of the Union not later than 30 days before Congress. Lists of all registered members of the Union shall be disaggregated into categories of membership; males and females; due paying and non-due paying (delinquent) members; editors, reporters, etc.
Mr. Chairman, with the above concerns which have been reduced into complaint, #Team Octavin for PUL President, do hereby request the PUL Elections Commission to reschedule the 9 November 2019 Press Union of Liberia (PUL) election slated to be held in Monrovia, Liberia pending an investigation from your EC, to enable a fair and transparent election. Therefore, #Team Octavin looks forward to a relevant response as we move forward to ensure a free, fair and transparent election.
Any action not appropriate in keeping with the PUL Constitution in regards to membership and the election, we will not hesitate to take a legal recourse to set the record straight.
Octavin T. Williams
Candidate PUL Vice Presidency
cc: Liberia Media Council
PUL Press Union Membership Committee
Mrs. Weemon J. Cole-Boyce – Vice Presidential Candidate PUL
Mr. E.J. Nathaniel Daygbor – Secretary General Candidate PUL
Mr. Jutonu Kollie – Assistant Secretary General Candidate PUL