Court “Lifts” Injunction On PUL Election

Jarlawah Tonpo

-As November 16 Set For Election
Following the lifting of the temporary injunction placed on the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) election by the Civil Law Court, the union’s election commissioner, Jarlawah Tonpo, has announced that the poll will now take place on Saturday, November 16.The injunction was placed on the PUL 2019 election Saturday, November 9, after three members sought a writ of temporary injunction from the court.

The writ, which was directed to the union’s President Charles Coffey, Secretary General Daniel Nyankona and the Election Commissioner Jarlawa Tonpo, ordered that they refrain from proceeding with the election until the court can determine the request for cancelation of the exercise from the petitioners.

The petitioners prayed the court to cancel the union’s election for “gross violation” of the PUL Constitution and inconstancies in its membership roll.

They alleged that several individuals who are not journalists were illegally recruited as members of the PUL for the purpose of the election.

The petitioners also alleged that the expulsion of journalist Sekou Sheriff on the heels of the electoral contest was in violation of Article 29 of the PUL Constitution because, according to them, Sheriff was not accorded due process.

The petitioners also indicated that the PUL leadership failed to give the union’s financial report during its Congress ahead the polls as provided for law.

However, with the new development, PUL Election Commissioner Tonpo has declared campaign open as of November 13 and will end at 12:00 a.m. on November 16.

He assured that the Election Commission is committed to conducting free, fair and transparent election.

Tonpo, however, commended the PUL membership for respecting the rule of law and exercising restraint while the union’s legal team worked on lifting the injunction.

Meanwhile, Team Octavin (supporters of Octavin Williams for PUL Presidency) has said the PUL Election Commission announcement that the injunction by the court has been trashed “is a glaring act of mischief which presents its naked desire to proceed with a fraudulent poll.”

According to team Octavin, there has been no judicial outcome of the case and that what the PUL electoral body is spreading is a misinformation intended to cause confusion amongst journalists and plunge the union into credibility crisis.

“The information the EC is refusing to communicate in its deliberate attempt to bring the integrity of the Judiciary into question and public disrepute is that on Wednesday the defendants in the case, including the very EC filed their responses to the lawsuit filed by journalists Siebo Williams, Omecee Johnson, Sekou Sheriff and Samuel Hasay.

“What this means is that the Court has opened the case for hearing and that it has been scheduled for Saturday, November 23, 2019,” said Team Octavin in a release issued Wednesday.

Team Octavin has, however, urged all members of the Press Union of Liberia to respect the rule of law and ignore the Election Commissioner Jarlawah Tonpo’s call that there will be election on Saturday, November 16.

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