Liberia Movie Union Appoints Pulano to Lead Elections Exercise

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Liberia Movie Union's newly appointed elections commission chair, Cosme Pulano.

The Interim Leadership of the Liberia Movie Union (LIMU) has appointed Cosme Pulano, the producer of the film ‘Decisions’, to head the Union’s newly constituted elections commission.

Mr. Pulano’s appointment, which was made by the Union’s Interim Leadership headed by Eddie Gibson, comes after months of internal wrangling that led to the cancellation of the Union’s elections months ago and the disbarment of the previous election commission due to allegations of favoritism.

“Taking into consideration your level of intelligence, straight-forwardness and love for the Union, we have no hesitation of appointing you to serve as chairman of the Union’s elections commission. And that you will enjoy our fullest cooperation and support in the execution of your duties,” Mr. Gibson said in a communication.

In acceptance of the appointment, Pulano assured the Union’s members that the election, which is scheduled for December 8, will be free, fair and transparent.

“We are at a critical junction in the history of the Union and as the head of this electoral body, I promise that the commission will strictly implement the 2006 Constitution, the 2018 road map and the elections regulations and guidelines. The laws will be the laws.

“Under my leadership, the election commission will be very robust when it comes to looking into concerns rightly raised by various interest groups and stakeholders relating to the forthcoming polls. This is intended to ensure a credible election that meets every Union member’s satisfaction,” he said.

Mr. Pulano added he will adhere to his mandate, which requires him to be umpire and ensure that the process is fair and that the Union can move to noble heights.

“The mandate is clear and simple. And I promised to discharge that fully,” he said, adding that he will govern by the resolutions agreed upon between the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) the Interim Leadership and the various interim groups that are contesting the elections.

The resolutions in question require that the elections commission draw its guidelines for the conduct of the election only for the 2006 constitution and that the voting should take place only in Monrovia.

The delay in the Union’s elections came after Frank Artus, a candidate for president of the Union, filed 24 counts of complaints against Master Russian, election commissioner.

In his complaints, Mr. Artus, who won the case ruled by the Information Ministry, said the decentralization of the Union’s election was unconstitutional and illegal and is intended to sway the result of the elections negatively.

The complaints also stated that the commission’s action to draw the guidelines from the amended constitution, which has not been approved, was a clear violation.

MICAT’s ruling, read Boakai Fofana, Deputy Minister for Technical Services, instructed the then president, Martha Akosah, to disband the previous elections commission and set up a new one, and not to use an amended constitution, which has not been approved, to draw up guidelines for the conduct of the upcoming elections.

“Also, the election should not be decentralized and the election of the various guild chairs should be abolished because these clauses are not in the old constitution,” Mr. Fofana’s ruling added.

Upon the failure of the Madam Martha Akosah Administration to adhere to the ministry’s mandate, her administration was suspended and an interim leadership constituted to take the Union to an election.

Aware of the issue of credibility of the voters roll in the past, Mr. Pulano promises to address the situation, which he described as key to the conduct of credible elections.

“By the grace of God, we will ensure that the Union’s election is credible and indisputable so that it can engage the world properly. I encourage all Union members to put the interest of the Union above self as we all work to take the Union to noble heights.”

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