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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Liberia: Former PUL Leaders Pledge to Oversee Credible Union Elections

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In the wake of a prolonged legal battle that has kept the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) virtually shut down for 19 months, a group of former union leaders have come together to help restore the solidarity and credibility of the organization.

In a statement addressed to fellow members of the Press Union, the former leaders, including founding father and third president James C. Dennis, acknowledged that the details of the conflict may not be appropriate to discuss publicly, but they stressed that “we are all losers” in this bitter experience.

The former leaders, who have been quietly engaging the conflicting parties since January 2024, welcomed the recent court ruling that set aside the results of the disputed November 2022 elections. The court has mandated seven former PUL presidents and four “media elders” to clean the membership roll and conduct fresh elections within four months.

“We appreciate the recognition by the Court of our leaders in managing this crucial transition in the life of the PUL. We see this as an endorsement of our quiet mediation effort,” the former leaders stated in their statement.

The group has committed to pushing themselves “very hard” to ensure that a new PUL leadership is elected and inducted by the end of August 2024. They have assured the membership of a transparent and fair election process and have solicited the full cooperation of all.

“We want to assure the membership of a transparent and fair process. We crave the backing and understanding of the membership to get our Union working again, not just for the journalism community, but the public at large,” the former leaders said.

The former leaders, including presidents, vice presidents, and secretaries-general, have acknowledged the deep wounds left behind by the conflict, but they have expressed hope that healing is possible. They have called on the membership to remain peaceful during this transition period.

“The past is a lesson learned; let’s focus on how to move forward in the interest of the PUL and the protection of the civic space,” the former leaders concluded.

 

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