The Federation of Road Transport Union of Liberia (FRTUL), Montserrado Branch on Saturday, September 26, 2020 conducted a special leadership elections for new corps of officers to steer affairs of the union for next three years.
The elections followed a mandate from the Civil Law Court to the Ministry of Labour to ensure a peaceful conduct of an election within the Montserrado Branch of the FRTUL on or before the 30th of April 2020. But due to outbreak of the covid-19, the Ministry appealed to the Court to allow it implement the mandate following improvement in the Covid-19 situation in the Country.
Earlier this month, the Ministry communicated with the Court of it preparedness to conduct the Special Leadership Elections within the union on the 19th of September 2020. However, the election was later deferred to Saturday, September 26, 2020 due some challenges in the process.
Seventeen (17) candidates contested for the positions of President, Vice President for Administration, Vice President for Operations, General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary, Treasurer and Advisor.
Following the opening of the polls at 8: A. M. the Omega Magisterial Court issued a Writ of injunction on the process as a result of a complaint filed by some aggrieved members of the Union. But the Writ was wrongly addressed.
Instead of addressing the Writ to Ministry of Labour or the Special Election Commission, it was addressed to some candidates participating to the process and as such, could not be enforced by the court officers.
Election proceeded without any problem during the entire election process which came to an end at 5:00 P. M.
Mr. Stanley J. Dingwall was elected President of the Union defeating two others while Mr. James C. Washington and Mr. Francis Philips were elected Vice President for Administration and Vice President for Operations respectively.
Others elected were: Mr. C. Momo Bao, General Secretary, Mr. Jarboi M. Freeman, Deputy General Secretary, Ms. Ruth M. Seward, Treasurer and Mr. Patrick Tamba, Advisor.
Speaking to journalists following the announcement of the official results of the election, the Chairman of the FRTUL Montserrado County Branch Leadership Special Election Commission, Mr. Adolphus W. Wesseh described the process as free, fair and transparent. He said that though there were attempts by some members of the union to prevent the process from going ahead, but failed.
Mr. Wesseh thanked members of the union for their cooperation and peacefully conducting themselves throughout the process noting that “We are happy that the process went well without any confusion. The only problem was this morning after going 25% of the process, we saw court officers with a Writ, but it was misdirected. According to him, he brought the Writ from the Civil Law Court asking us to stop the process, the Writ should have been addressed to the Ministry of Labour who had asked us to conduct the elections. Other than that, we had minor problems such as people coming with ID Cards who numbers were not corresponding their names. ”
Also speaking, the Assistant Director of Trade Union Affairs at the Ministry of Labour, Mr. Dominic Wreh said “The elections went very well and were peaceful. “Since 7:45 A. M. we have been on the ground making sure that everything gos in line with the Decent Work Act of Liberia and in keeping with the mandate of the Judge of the Civil Law Court. As you can see, we have already completed the process and the winners are being announced.”
Director Wreh noted that with the peaceful conduct of these elections, he hopes that members of the union will return to work as a body in moving the FRTUL further.
These elections were witnessed by representatives from the Ministry of Labour, the Liberia Labour Congress (LLC) and other independent bodies.
Members of the Special Election Commission are:
Mr. Adolphus W. Wesseh of the General Agricultural and Allied Workers Union of Liberia (GAAWUL), Chairman, Mr. Jeator J. Fakarteh of the Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia (AWUL), Co-chairman, Mr. Vacus W. Kun of the United Workers Union of Liberia (UWUL), Secretary.
Others are: Teah S. Pannoh, member and Zorwoh David, member both of the LLC.