Speaker Snowe Enters PUL Politics - Expresses Support for Zeon



Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted November 11, 2006


It appears that early speculations that House Speaker Edwin Melvin Snowe was meddling in the activities of the Liberian media particularly the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) are coming to light as he has reportedly given support for the candidacy of Alphonsus Zeon for the presidency.

The Speaker who is said to be very concerned about the activities of the PUL upcoming elections, upon arrival at the Robert International Airport over the weekend from the Middle Eastern City of Qatar, reportedly remarked to several journalists that “Gentlemen, how is the election process? You should vote my interest; my interest is Alphonsus Zeon.”

According to credible sources, Speaker Snowe spent most of his time on Sunday night at his residence engaging journalists directly or through telephone conversation as a means of running campaign for Mr. Zeon.

The Speaker’s alleged interference into the PUL reportedly emerged during the registration of the union membership for the election some months ago when it was credibly learnt that he (Snowe) infused through a confidant, over five thousand United States dollars to register what was described as “Zeon’s supporters or loyalists.”

It was also alleged that before Speaker Snowe departed for Qatar, he left behind funds to facilitate Zeon’s campaign activities.

It is now glaring that these hidden hands and hidden interests are now surfacing.

However, in an attempt to dispel these allegations, Mr. Zeon recently held a press conference thus denouncing Speaker’s Snowe’s support in his favor.

“With just few days to the elections, Speaker Snowe’s alleged open support for Mr. Zeon makes it very clear that Mr. Zeon is a candidate whose ascendancy to the PUL presidency would mean that the union would be teleguided by the first branch of government headed by Speaker Snowe,” one observer noted.

Other observers told The FORUM that it is a dangerous precedent if it is true that the Speaker has interfered into the affairs of the media at this time when the media supposed to be an advocacy group or organization to serve as “voice for the voiceless.”

Mr. Francis Thompson, a self- proclaimed friend of the media, also said it is about time that journalists live above the influence of politicians whom he claimed would want to satisfy their selfish interest.

Recently, in an article entitled: “Beware of Hidden Hands, Hidden Interests: Need for PUL Members to Be Cautious,” written by Frank Sainworla, Jr., former Secretary General (1998-2000), Mr Sainworla warned PUL members against government and or politicians who might want to have an easy ride or take advantage of every opportunity to have leverage on the press.

Meanwhile, commenting on the alleged unfolding events, the Chairman of the George Barpeen for PUL President Strategy Committee, Herbert Johnson, said: “The information we have gathered, if it is true then it is a dangerous attempt by a high profile personality like Speaker Snowe to interfere into the PUL elections. This suggests to us that Speaker Snowe is desperately doing everything for the first branch of government to control the independent media.”

Mr. Johnson then prayed that Liberian journalists especially the eligible voters to the pending elections need to use the elections as a means to seek the growth of the Liberian media.

When contacted before going to press via cell phone, one of Speaker Snowe’s aide only identified as Monger said that the Speaker was indisposed.

© 2006: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved. Forum can reached at: Forum@theperspective.org