GJA Aspiring Candidates Raise Red Flag
Some aspiring candidates of the Ghana Journalists Association’s (GJA) national and regional executive positions have expressed concern about worrying development ahead of the September 29 elections.
A statement jointly signed by Mr. Lloyd Evans, aspiring President, Mr. Francis Kokutse, aspiring Vice President, Mr. Kofi Yeboah, aspiring General Secretary, and Vance Azu, aspiring Organising Secretary, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, called on all members of the Association to be vigilant in the days ahead of the elections.
“We have received credible information on a grand plot by some candidates to register new members with the criminal intention of smuggling them into the voters register,” it alleged.
It said some actions and inactions of the Elections Committee (EC) of the GJA had raised concerns about the credibility of the electoral processes leading to the elections.
The statement urged all members who had refused to pay their dues in view of the manner the Association had been rendered unattractive, to take advantage of the opportunity to correct the wrongs.
The statement recalled how some aspiring candidates went to court to seek redress after they were disqualified by the EC and the manner in which their protest letters were treated with contempt.
“Having mounted our legal action on the grounds of these two issues, we felt vindicated and comforted by those arbitration,” it added.
It indicated that the petitioners agreed to a proposal for an out-of-court settlement, which was proposed by the Counsel for the Defendants (i.e. GJA National Executives and EC members).
The statement said: “At the arbitration, which was mediated by Mr. Austin Gamey, we made a lot of concessions in good faith and in the interest of the GJA.”
It further stated that the Petitioners were comforted by two significant interventions made by the Counsel for the Defendants.
However, it expressed displeasure about the failure of the EC to respond to their letter regarding re-opening of nominations, saying it was not right and legally wrong to do that.
The statement also noted that at the first Inter-Candidate Election Committee (ICEC) meeting held on August 1, 2017, a consensus was reached to issue a press statement, to explain the outcome of the legal litigation and its implication.
It said the EC had not issued that press statement up to date, therefore, allowing some aspiring candidates to peddle falsehood.
It said the consensus reached at the arbitration formed the basis of a consent judgement given by the court, in order to pave the way for dialogue to move forward.
Moreover, it said at one of the ICEC meeting held on August 22, it was agreed that a grace period should be allowed for members who had not paid their dues up to date, to clear their arrears so that their names could be captured in the voter register with a cut-off point (three years before December 31, 2016).
The statement indicated that the EC had not issued a press statement on the agreement reached.
It said the EC rather presented s different statement at the meeting held on August 29, which varied from the agreement reached in the previous meetings.