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GNOC opposition queries election process, Secretary General Prom reacts

Aug 2, 2013, 10:40 AM

With the GNOC elective congress only a day to go, officials of some 13 associations have signed and sent a letter to the Ministries of Sports and the Interior among others asking them to act on an agreement they claim was brokered by them in order to end the impasse over the voter list.

The letter also raised objection to the holding of elections this Saturday arguing that the GNOC constitution states that there should be at least 30 days notice before a congress can be held so that delegates can be served with all documents pertaining to the congress, for example the financial statement, etc.

The letter also renewed allegations of discrimination against certain national associations by the GNOC while others with questionable IOC membership have been put on the list of voters.

Reacting to these claims, GNOC secretary general Peter Prom confirmed that elections would be held on Saturday as this was agreed by the majority of members of the General Assembly on July 27.

Mr Prom also said the complaining association had all the chance to bring forward their complaints at that AGM but failed to do so. “That was a legitimate assembly of delegates at which all issues dealing with the elections were discussed. Why didn’t they come forward with these claims there?’’ he queried.

On the agreement with the Ministers that led to a proposal for all 29 associations to be granted automatic membership, Mr Prom said that proposal was sent to the IOC, which replied stating how it wants the election and voting process to go as per its Road Map and according to the IOC charter and the GNOC constitution, which was what was done on July 27. “Everyone saw and read what the IOC responded to that,’’ Mr Prom said.

Below we reproduce the full content of the letter sent to the minister and copied to the press. It opens with a response to the GNOC’s letter of notice to the GNOC congress followed by the letter to the ministers:

GNOC Elective Congress

Further to your letter of 29 July 2013 convening an Elective Congress on 3 August 2013, we wish to inform you that this is unconstitutional as it violates the provision of the GNOC constitution clause 7.4 which reads: “The General Assembly can validly act only on those items appearing on its agenda. Members shall be notified of the dates set for the session at least 30 days in advance.”

Please respect the provisions of the sacred constitution. We hope that the National Sports Council as the regulatory body for sports in The Gambia will ensure that the right thing is done without fear or favour, affection or ill will.

Likewise the IOC member who is the Guardian of the IOC Charter will protect and preserve the sanctity of the noble IOC Charter.

Let us do what is right and fair for the sake of Justice and Olympism.

Thank you for standing up by the IOC Charter and the Constitution of The Gambia.

GNOC Fair Play and Justice

Dear Sirs,

Following the agreement reached between the factions relating to the establishment of a credible voting list resulting from your constructive intervention ,which resulted in our stepping down our court suit against Alhaji Momodou Dibba, Ms Beatrice Prom and Mr Peter Prom, we deeply regret that the process has again been frustrated by the same GNOC at the Extraordinary General Assembly held on 27 July attended by Affiliated Associations, albeit without a referee or independent observers.

The result is that contrary to what was agreed, the GNOC has again decided that certain affiliated National Associations will not be allowed to vote, in clear contradiction to what was negotiated and agreed with Alhaji Momodou Dibba and Peter Prom and us as plaintiffs.

We therefore request your most urgent intervention to restore the credibility of the voter list and the electoral process as a matter of urgent priority. Depending on your action we may have to resort to court action again immediately.

The Associations denied the right to vote include the following:

Gambia Swimming and Aquatics Association

Gambia Weightlifting Association

Gambia Rugby Association

Gambia Fencing Association

Gambia Kungfu Association

It is useful to quote the sacred IOC Charter verbatim, as follows:

Article 3 The National Federations: “To be recognised by an NOC and accepted as a member of such NOC, a national federation must exercise a specific, real and on-going sports activity, be affiliated to an IF recognised by the IOC and be governed by and comply in all aspects with both the Olympic Charter and the rules of the IOC.”

The fact is that Draught is not a recognised sport by the IOC, yet the President of Draught is presiding over those Associations that are on the Olympic Programme and recognised by The Government of The Gambia and their International Federations. Please verify the facts and let’s ensure fair play.

Attached you will find the list of Associations registered by the competent authority of the Government in The Gambia i.e. the National Sports Council.

In addition, please find the list of Associations from the GNOC comprising of those Associations that were deemed eligible to vote and indeed voted at the last elections. Why the inconsistency this time?

The Gambia Swimming and Aquatics Association was properly constituted and recognised by their International Federation using the above name, yet the GNOC voted that they will only be referred to as Swimming or Aquatics and conducted a vote to the effect that the name shall henceforth be referred to as Gambia Swimming Association.

This is contrary to the fact that the FINA has already approved the name GSAA and the IOC utilises the name Aquatics.

Consequent on this, the association has been denied a vote for the upcoming elections: this is clearly not acceptable.

Gambia Rugby, Weightlifting, and Fencing are registered by the NSC and affiliated to the GNOC and voted at the last election. Why are they being denied a vote now?

If Draught, which is not on the Olympic Programme, has a vote, how can one deny the right to vote to those Associations that are on the OP as recognised sports.

The Bureau forced a vote on the contentious voter list and concluded the meeting with an announcement by the President that elections will take place on 3 August 2013, yet another contravention of the constitution. Clause 7.4 of the Constitution reads:

“The General Assembly can validly act only on those items appearing on its agenda. Members shall be notified of the dates set for the session at least 30 days in advance.”

In addition, none of the required papers have been submitted to members as required under the constitution, e.g. the Activity Report of the Bureau, the Audited Financial Statements and the Budget.

We urge the IOC as the guardian on the Olympic Charter to finally field a mission and resolve this long standing impasse and the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the NSC to ensure Fair play in The Gambia.

Please ACT.