News24

Liberia union slams radio boss axing

2011-10-05 20:44

Monrovia - The Press Union of Liberia on Wednesday condemned the sacking of state radio chief Ambroise Mahn, accusing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of replacing him with a sympathiser ahead of elections.

Union president Peter Quaqua said his organisation was troubled by the fact that Mahn was fired after the radio broadcast a press conference by football star George Weah, vice presidential candidate for the main opposition.

"Recent developments at the Liberia Broadcasting System in which the director general Ambroise Mahn was indefinitely suspended, have attracted our interest," Quaqua told AFP on Wednesday.

"Mahn's suspension came immediately following Mr Weah’s press conference on the station."

The government has argued its decision was based on administrative reasons and had nothing to do with the programme aired.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) said in a statement that Weah had insulted Sirleaf during the press conference, saying: "Ellen, that lady, she brought war, she is known for bringing war, not us."

Mahn was replaced by Alhadji Kromah, a political leader who has declared openly his support for Sirleaf, who is seeking a second term in elections on October 11.

"This is unacceptable. Mr Kromah is a political leader [who] recently declared his support for President Sirleaf, it cannot be the right choice for the job, and he should not be allowed and cannot be allowed to act," said Quaqua.

The election next week is seen as a litmus test of Liberia's democracy, eight years after the end of a bloody civil war in which some 250 000 lost their lives.