LIBERIA: NMC Unable to Hear Elections Dispute due to Commission Absence

Mrs. Patmillia Doe-Paivey, Co-chairperson National Media Council

Based on the invitation of the National Media Council (NMC) following her prior complaint of October 26, 2019, Ms. Facia B. Harris on November 5, 2019, appeared before the NMC for hearing in the dispute with the 2019 Elections Commission (EC) of the Press Union of Liberia centering on the EC disqualifying her to participate in the upcoming PUL elections.

In a letter of November 4, 2019, the EC informed the NMC of its inability to appear before the Council due to “overwhelming electoral matters”. As a result of its absence, the NMC could not proceed with hearing the matter.

The NMC was established as a national framework for the purpose of self-regulating media accountability and professional conduct in Liberia based on the scope and provisions of code of ethics for journalists in Liberia. Pursuant to the framework establishing the NMC, its core purpose among others is to mediate media-related disputes, keep under review and where appropriate, comment on political, legislative, commercial or other developments which may adversely affect the dissemination of information of public interest, and threaten the public’s right to know.

The NMC notes emphatically that its mediation process is solely based on the voluntary consent of disputing parties hence the NMC could not hear the matter. A statement signed by Patmillia Doe-Paivey, Co-chairperson National Media Council, added.

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