Daniel Nyakonah wins PUL Presidency
-Despite Team Julius Kanubah’s boycott
By Emmanuel wise Jipoh
Press Union of Liberia (PUL) Vice President Daniel Nyakonah has won the presidency of the Union at its 5th elective Congress held in Gbarnga, Bong County, over the weekend of November 17-19, 2022.
Marked with controversies from parties involved, Team Daniel Nyakonah and Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo – incumbent runners ran away with the election after Team Juluis K. Kanubah and Beatrice T. Sieh, boycotted the election on grounds it was characterized by fraud and blotted voters’ roll.
Team Julius Kanubah filed several protests days leading to the congress among them calling for the cleaning of the PUL voter’s roll. That demand according to them were not met. Team Julius filed an in junction to halt the election but that was turnover by lawyers representing the PUL at the eleventh hour thus paving the way for supporters loyal to Team Daniel to go ahead and cast their ballots.
Incumbent Daniel Nyankonah was endorsed by outgoing President Charles Coffey. Mr. Cuffey had said prior to the poll that counting on visible achievements of his administration which Daniel is a part and already aware of is key, adding that the best way to accelerate fast growth in the Union is to elect Team Nyakonah.
“I stand with my Vice President and he is the unmatched candidate for the Union”, Mr. Coffey re-echoed. According to him, Daniel is a true leader who has served well and is very committed to the PUL and deserves to be his possible replacement.
This statement by Mr. Cuffey, was greeted with quarrels from Team Juluis K. Kanubah, fearing at the time that the election might have been tempered with.
The PUL 5th elective Congress and election, earlier scheduled for November 12, 2022, was postponed to November 17-19, 2022.
On the onset of the Congress, the first two days went smoothly, but polling day encountered delay with an injunction placed on the poll after a complaint filed by Team Julius Kanubah, alleging fraud and flooded voter’s roll.
Then came a writ of temporary injunction from the court on allegation that several journalists were illegally recruited as members of the PUL for the purpose of the election.
The writ, which was directed to outgoing President Coffey, Secretary General Musa M.B. Kenneh and Election Chairperson Atty. Ade Wede Kerkuleh, ordered that they refrain from proceeding with the election until the court determines request for cancellation of the exercise from the petitioners.
Nearly six hours after the delay in the electoral process with hundreds of registered Union members waiting to cast their votes, the Supreme Court of Liberia removed the Injunction and Declarative Judgement placed on the poll.
Immediately at 8pm local time in Gbarnga, Bong County, poll opened with members of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) overwhelmingly electing incumbent VP Daniel Nyakonah and Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo as President and Vice President, respectively to lead the Union for the next three years.
President-elected Daniel Nyankonah emerged as winner over his counterpart Julius Kanubah with 333 to 15 votes, out of a total of 350 votes cast, including 348 valid votes, and two invalid votes to replace former President Charles B. Coffey.
For the Vice-Presidential position, Female Journalist Bettie K. Johnson Mbayo, defeated her colleague Beatrice Sieh from the rival camp, 311 to 21 votes, from a total of 338 votes cast, including 332 valid votes and 6 invalid votes.
In the race for the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary-General posts, Journalists Akoi Baysah, and Julius Konton defeated their respective counterparts with 287 and 251 votes respectively, out of 540 votes cast between the two positions with two invalid votes.
Meanwhile, the win for the new leadership will see it steers the affairs of the PUL for the next three years, bringing an end to the 5th elective Congress. Editing by Jonathan Browne