Liberia: Press Union Urged to Take Cue from National Elections

The National Campaign Management Team of Julius Kanubah and Beatrice Sieh for the Leadership of the Press Union of Liberia says the 2023 presidential and legislative elections have shown that integrity matters for the legitimacy of electoral outcomes.

Team Kanubah–Sieh believes that without electoral integrity, it would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, for incumbent President George Weah to gracefully concede defeat hours before the final results of the November 14, 2023, presidential run-off election were announced by the National Elections Commission.

Moreover, electoral integrity, the team said in a release issued on Monday, November 27, ensured that the opposition did not do anything to undermine the legitimacy of the electoral outcome and democratic stability of Liberia in the wake of a provocative campaign statement by then opposition leader and now President–Elect Joseph Boakai that “if the elections are stolen by the ruling party, it would be the end of Liberia.’

“The Campaign Team of Kanubah–Sieh views the integrity demonstrated in the processes leading to the conduct of the 2023 elections as a turning point and shining example that is seriously worth emulating in the Press Union of Liberia, which has a troubled history of electoral fraud in the last four years,” the statement, signed by Raymond K. Zarbay, Chairman of the team, said.

On two occasions, the PUL erstwhile incumbent leadership of Charles Coffey, Daniel Nyakonah, and lately with Musa Kenneh and Akoi Baysah failed to ensure a credible electoral process, thereby undermining the legitimacy and democratic stability of the Union, leading to the ongoing conflict.

The Coffey–Nyakonah's former leadership is notorious for acts of electoral fraud through the pilling up of the PUL Membership Register with ineligible Liberian journalists and non-journalists in a bid to steal elections and entrench themselves in the PUL leadership despite extremely poor performances.

The Kanubah-Sieh Campaign Team lauded the people of Liberia for showing the PUL how to conduct a peaceful and credible electoral process. The team also extended its congratulations to President-Elect Joseph Nyumah Boakai and his Unity Party for their credible victory, as well as to President George Weah and the Coalition for Democratic Change for their graceful acceptance of defeat.

They also recognize the National Elections Commission for managing the electoral process effectively and accounting for the votes of the Liberian people. The Kanubah-Sieh Campaign Team expresses gratitude to international partners such as the US Government, the African Union, ECOWAS, and the European Union for their support of democracy and electoral integrity in Liberia.

They also acknowledge the crucial role played by local civil society institutions and organizations in ensuring the credibility of the election process. The Kanubah-Sieh Campaign Team reiterates its commitment to upholding the rule of law in pursuit of a democratic, legitimate elected leadership in the Press Union of Liberia.

They believe this is the best path to reconciliation and urge against endorsing fraudulent practices that disregard the PUL Constitution and the majority membership's voice by conducting midnight elections based on a fraudulent membership register.

The Kanubah–Sieh Campaign Team emphasizes that it remains committed to pursuing the rule of law to ensure a democratic, legitimate elected leadership at the PUL as the best path to reconciliation rather than endorsing the continuation of fraud by individuals who chose to disregard the PUL Constitution and the Majority Membership by holding midnight election based on a fraudulent membership register.