Tuesday, July 5, 2011

GPU Elects New Executive

Author: Ebrima Bah
A new nine member executive committee of Gambia Press Union (GPU) was yesterday elected into office.
The event marked the end to a three day triennial congress, which was marred by heated debates on issues affecting the country’s media landscape and welfare of journalists.
Among the three presidential contestant, Bai Emil Touray, editor of Foroyaa Newspaper emerged the winner.
The former GPU secretary general polled 36 votes compared to Famara Jawneh, deputy editor in chief of The Point and Ndey Tapha Sosseh, outgoing president who collected 19 and 14 votes respectively.
“The election of the new executive is a victory for democracy,” Mr Touray told The Daily News.  “Union members had the liberty to exercise their rights to take part in the Congress.”
Mr Bai Emil Touray is an experienced Gambian journalist. He worked at Daily Observer and later resigned on professional grounds.
At the 2008 congress, he was elected as secretary general after serving a three year term as assistant secretary general.
Aware of the hostile media environment amid harsh anti media laws, Mr Touray promises to continue engaging Gambian authorities with a view to creating a conducive media environment.
“This will be a difficult task, but I believe we can achieve it with patience and perseverance,” he admitted.
Meanwhile, Mr Baboucarr Ceesay, an editor of The Daily News has been elected as first vice president.
Mr Ceesay, also an experienced journalist who worked at Foroyaa, The Voice and Today, polled 45 votes against Mr Hatab Fadera Daily Observer’s presidential affairs correspondent who polled 19 votes.
With 41 votes, Amie Sanneh-Bojang of Foroyaa newspaper also triumphed over Mr Sanna Camara of The Standard as second vice president.
The nominations of Mr Gibairu Janneh of Daily Observer, Mr Madi Njie, a freelance journalist and Lamin Njie, an editor and newsroom coordinator of The Daily News went unopposed as secretary general, first assistant secretary general and second assistant general respectively.
Same situation went for the treasurer, Ms Haddija Jawara of Market Place magazine.
While Abdoulie John of JollofNews and Yai Dibba of The Point lost to Saikou Ceesay of The Daily News and Sarjo Camara of Foroyaa newspaper respectively.


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