Committee directs organisation of GJA elections by June 30

The Elections Dispute Adjudication Committee (EDAC) of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has set aside the postponement of the Associations elections.

The EDAC has therefore directed the GJA’s Elections Committee to take urgent steps to initiate processes for the successful conduct of the Association’s elections by Thursday, June 30, 2022.

“The GJA elections and formal Handing-Over processes shall take place by Thursday, the 30th of June 2022,” the Committee directed after concluding its work on the four petitions against the Elections Supervisory Committee (ESC).

The petitioners were aspirants of the 2021 GJA election, namely Messrs Kofi Yeboah, Albert, Kwabena Dwumfour, Gayheart Mensah, and Dave Agbenu.

In their petition, the four aspirants took issue with the nomination processes and election matters; the determination of a credible GJA voters register especially the eligibility of members to vote in the next GJA elections, and issues around mandates and authority of key stakeholders in the election processes, including the Elections Committee, the GJA Secretariat and the Elections Supervisory Committee.

The petitioners also challenged the mandates and authority of an adhoc body created to facilitate the transitional processes of the Association in the wake of the legal suit against the National Executive and others by Ms Caroline Boateng, a GJA member.

The GJA’s elections had been embroiled in fierce disagreements and controversies over the Association’s electoral register and other pressing issues, leading to a continuous postponement of the elections from 2020 to 2021 and now, 2022.

In its findings, which were shared with the Ghana News Agency, the EDAC said the GJA’s Constitution was “severely breached” leading to adverse consequences and the current stalemate.

“There was a lack of clarity in the determination of eligible voters for the next GJA elections. Some were due to challenges against persons whose membership status was unclear. Others were challenged on grounds of non-payment of dues whether as exempted parties or not,” it said.

The Committee also found that the leadership adopted “subjective conventions” and practices without due recourse to amending the GJA constitution, or developing any institutional policy approved by a General Meeting.

That, the Committee said, had contributed to the eligibility challenges of some senior members below the GJA’s exemption age of 65 years and other exempted parties.

“Thus, per the GJA unified list, 107 members in this ‘senior category are not paid-up but are on the register of 790 eligible members to vote,” it said.

The Committee further noted that the creation of the Elections Supervisory Committee (ESC) and its mandate lacked clarity and contravened the provisions of the GJA constitution.

“There is a lacuna in the effective management of transitional processes and provisions to guide ‘interim’ situations especially during crises and election periods of the Association,” the Committee said.

The Committee said the record-keeping and tracking of membership at both Membership Committee as well as the GJA national secretariat requires restructuring, improved co-ordination and linkages between the offices handling membership and dues collection.

“There were also multi-entry points for accessing membership with variations in requirements based on the entry point at the national or branch levels,” it said.

“There needs to be a common application of standards for equitable access to membership by both public-and private-based media practitioners in the GJA membership drive,” it added.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.