The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) will hold its national and regional elections on October 3, 2021 to elect national and regional executives for the association.
This comes after the association had reached an out-of-court settlement with a member, Ms Caroline Boateng, who sued the President of the GJA, Mr Roland Affail Monney, and others for overstaying their term in office, which expired on November 17, 2020.
The last GJA elections were held on September 29, 2017 and the new executives were inaugurated into office on Friday, November 17, 2017 for a three-year term.
The plaintiff and the defendants, represented by Mr Monney, signed the agreement, which was procured under the auspices of the Ga Mantse, King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II.
A statement signed by the General Secretary of the GJA, Mr Kofi Yeboah, and issued in Accra said: "The parties agree that the GJA elections shall be held one month after the signing and coming into force of the agreement today, Friday, September 3, 2021.”
"This means the stayed national and regional elections shall now be held on or before October 3, 2021, with the parties further agreeing that handing over and the swearing in of new executives shall be held within two weeks after the declaration of election results," it said.
It said the parties submitted that within one week from the date of the agreement, the GJA 2021 Elections Supervision Committee shall be established, made up of a representative each of the aspirants for national office positions and each of the regions to work with the Election Committee to conduct the elections.
Consequently, the statement said, aspirants for national office positions and the regional branches were expected to submit the names of their nominees to the Chairman, GJA Elections Committee at the Ghana International Press Centre, Accra before the close of work today, September 6, 2021.
"The committee shall ensure that a voters' register of members in good standing — GJA members who have paid their dues up to date — including retirees and past executives, shall be generated or compiled from the records of the GJA Secretariat, and such members shall cast their own votes.
"Within its mandate, the committee shall submit for publication by the Election Committee a calendar of activities for the elections and ensure the non-interference in the election process by the GJA Executive or the National Council or anybody whatsoever," it said.
Dispute adjudication committee
The parties, the statement said, further agreed that the Elections Dispute Adjudication Committee (EDAC) of the GJA shall be empowered to be responsible for all election-related disputes, and that in the event of disputes unresolved by the EDAC, same shall be referred to mediation, pursuant to the ADR Act, 2010 (Act 798), with a mediator appointed by the President of the Accra Bar within 48 hours of delivery of the dispute to the Accra Bar President.
"The agreement indicates that such disputes or appeal shall be submitted within 48 hours to counsel for the parties for onward delivery to the President of the Accra Bar to be resolved within 24 hours of the appointment of the mediator,” it said.
The parties agreed that they shall be bound by an absolute confidentiality clause to this agreement, and these terms shall be subject to the usual default clause, it said.
"That means these terms of settlement embody the entire understanding of the parties in respect of the matters contained in, or referred to, it and there are no promises, terms, conditions or obligation, oral or written, express or implied, other than contained in these terms of settlement," it provided.
The statement further said the parties, having agreed "to compromise their differences and settle this case