Accra, June 14, 2019, GNA –The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has elected an African as its President for the first time in its story at a delegate congress held in the Tunisian capital Tunis on Friday.
The 2019 Congress of the 93-year-old Federation, which began on Tuesday June 11, and ended on Friday, June 14, discussed a wide-range of issues, including the safety and welfare of journalists across the world.
A statement copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) by Kofi Yeboah, General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association, stated that Younes Mjahed from Morocco polled 200 votes as against 110 votes by his main challenger Martin O’Hanlon from Canada at the federation’s elections during the congress, to become the first African President.
The statement stated that the election results showed that the African caucus had voted en bloc for the first time, as all 53 delegates from the continent voted in favour of Younes Mjahed in a determined effort to re-script the history of IFJ as far as its presidency was concerned.
Also three Africans; Zeid Dabbar from Tunisia, Omar Osman from Australia and Maria Calvaho from Angola were elected to the 16-member IFJ Executive Committee at the congress.
It said Mr Affail Monney, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), unfortunately, missed out narrowly in the election to become the first Ghanaian to serve on the IFJ Executive Committee.
It said the Initial results indicated that Mr Monney had emerged as one of the elected Executive Committee members but a subsequent recount of the ballots caused his displacement.
“Whatever happens, we give thanks to God for the grace to beat plenty people across the globe,” he told GJA National Executive members.
The IFJ is the largest global federation of journalists' trade unions and associations, which aims at protecting and strengthening the rights and freedoms of journalists.
The GJA has been a long-standing affiliate member of the IFJ, contributing significantly to the aspirations and development of the Federation over the years.
The GJA President is expected to return home from the congress on Monday, June 17, 2019.
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