The campaign team of Mr Lloyd Evans, an aspirant in the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) presidential race, has said the election committee has flouted the rules of the association.
The association earlier announced that Mr Evans had been disqualified on the grounds of non-payment of dues in full. However, a press release on Monday, March 20, from the camp of Mr Evans indicated: “The GJA rules once again state clearly that yearly payments of dues should be paid by end of February for the year. Our candidate paid his dues on 14th February, 2017, hence has not fallen short of the rules.”
For this reason, the statement, issued by campaign manager Boahene Asamoah, indicated that the disqualification of Mr Evans was unjustified.
In addition, the release outlined other actions undertaken by the leadership of the GJA which, according to the candidate’s team, are a clear breach of the constitution of the association.
Below is the full statement:
LLOYD EVANS CAMPAIGN OFFICE
For immediate release
RE: CONSTITUTIONAL BREACHES FOR GJA ELECTIONS 2017
Accra-March 20, 2017- The Campaign office of our Candidate Lloyd Evans wishes to point out to the general public some misinformation purportedly put out since the story about the disqualification of our Candidate Lloyd Evans was first put out last Friday, March 17, 2017.
First, the rule of natural justice was not adhered to. Team Lloyd Campaign was of the opinion that a written copy of the disqualification of our candidate would have first be made available to us before the rush to the public to announce their decision.
Team Lloyd however, is yet to get a written a copy of the statement from the Press Centre.
The Chairman of the Election Committee has noted on some radio interviews that our candidate can appeal his disqualification through the Adjudicating Committee for redress.
We wish to point out to the Chairman of the Election Committee that the very same rules and regulations of the GJA, which mandates the National Executive Council to put in place the Election Dispute Adjudication Committee 90 clear days before the elections has been flouted.
We challenge the National Executive Council to publish the date for which this committee was set up and the names of the members of the Committee. To the team, there is nothing such as an Adjudicating Committee.
Per the constitution (Article 44 ) the National Executive Council which is made up of national executives and the representatives of the regional branches shall set up an Election Dispute Adjudication Committee to sit on appeals from the decisions of the Election Committee and adjudicate on post-election disputes.
Sect (c) of the same Article states “The Election Dispute Adjudication Committee shall be appointed three (3) months before the election and shall be dissolved within two (2) months after the declaration of the election results”.
The announcement of the elections however, was done on February 6, 2017 with the elections stated for March 31, 2017. This is clearly a breach of the rules and regulations of the Association.
The GJA rules and regulations is specific, that the Elections Committee shall publish a register of eligible voters (members in good standing) for each election. The register shall be published in at least one national daily and simultaneously circulated to all Regional Branches and media houses at least 30 calendar days before the election.
The said list was however published in the first week of March 2017, another clear breach of the GJA constitution by the Elections Committee. What was published was not even the accurate data as per what is stated in the GJA constitution.
The same regulations says the National Executive shall publish the names of members of the Association in good standing by the end of the first-quarter, after giving due notice of 30 calendar days.
This pre-supposes that the GJA should have given due notice of their intention to publish its members in good standing by December of 2016.
It is clear from the forgoing that the National Executives of GJA has at every turn of the processes leading to this election, flouted their own rules and regulations with impunity and yet turn round to accuse law abiding members of same.
The GJA rules once again states clearly that yearly payments of dues should be paid by end of February for the year. Our Candidate paid his dues on 14th February, 2017, hence has not fallen short of the rules.
Be that this year is not an election year, therefore, anybody who has paid his dues before the end of the February cannot be said to be caught by the 90-day rule.
The Election Committee in fairness should publish the date of payment of all candidates to dispel rumours of some of the qualified candidates purported to have paid their dues in the middle of January, 2017
We wish to reiterate that the processes leading to holding of elections was surprised on all members without the due regards to rules and regulations as spelled out in the GJA Constitution.
The postponement of the March 31, 2016 was not communicated to members. A proper interpretation of the rules and regulations will mean that the current mandate of the National Executives and all other regional officers have run out, hence have no legal right to continue to hold office much more set up a committee to oversee the elections.
Our candidate therefore, did not and cannot be said to have failed to pay his dues as per the incidence narrated above.
“Keep Lloyd Evans Vision Alive” CHANGE WILL COME.