Vulgar, offensive and repugnant.
These are the words which THE NEW TODAY can only muster at this time to describe the charade which recently took place during the so-called elections that were held to appoint new Executive members to serve on the Grenada Olympics Association.
This newspaper has no choice but to give full support to the call made by former President of the local athletics association and member of the local Olympics body, George “Goaty” Robinson for fresh elections to be held to correct a very questionable act that took place at the last elections held on May 25.
A letter penned by Mr. Robinson to this effect is getting international airplay and putting Grenada once again in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
The likes of Royston La Hae, Veda Bruno, and Returning Officer, Victor Ashby et al must not be allowed to get away with the illegal and wrongful act that took place at the national stadium in the good name of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The IOC supports fair play and no cheating by athletes at its competitions and the same should apply to executive members of IOC affiliates in holding their elections for office holders.
On February 19, 2013, the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique went to the polls in a national election which was free and fair and gave the nod to the New National Party (NNP) to replace the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to take charge of the government and to look after their affairs.
All candidates who took part in the elections had to file their nomination papers in accordance with the stipulated rules laid down in the People’s Representation Act.
This newspaper challenges Mr. Ashby, the Returning Officer, as well as Royston La Hae and Veda Bruno and the others to point to any section within the GOA Constitution that could have prevented Mr. Rae Roberts from challenging Mr. La Hae for the Presidency.
Where did Mr. Ashby get the authority from to bar the candidacy of Sen. Roberts on the grounds that his Nomination Papers were out of Order and did not meet the requirement of having the support of at least two of the sporting bodies affiliated to GOA?
THE NEW TODAY has looked at the Constitution of that national sporting body and no where can it find anything of the sort.
This is what the GOA Constitution states in respect of the holding of meetings of the body to elect a new executive.
Special Quadrennial General Meetings for Elections
1.1 There shall be a Special Quadrennial General Meeting called specifically for purpose of holding elections for officers to serve on the Executive Committee.
1.2 In attendance at this meeting shall be delegates nominated by affiliate National Associations for this purpose; members of the retiring Executive; members of the IOC; active or retired athletes in accordance with Article 6.3 of this Constitution; a Returning Officer and a Recording Secretary, both nominated by the Executive and approved by the Council.
1.3 The Notice and Agenda shall be served on members no later (than) one (1) month prior to the Special Quadrennial General Meeting.
1.4 Written nominations of prospective officers for election to the Executive must be received by the General Secretary no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the Special Quadrennial General Meeting.
1.5 The meeting shall be chaired by the Returning Officer who shall adhere to the following Agenda:
– Call to order
– Roll call
– Election of officers
– Installation of new Executive.
1.6 Copies of the minutes of the Special Quadrennial General Meeting shall be sent to the IOC. All documents must be certified as true copies by the President and Secretary of the Committee.
THE NEW TODAY calls on La Hae, Bruno and company to do the decent thing and refrain from sending any report to the IOC on the outcome of the charade that took place in electing new members to serve on the body.
As Mr. Robinson said there is need for new elections to correct a wrong and this newspaper goes further to state that this illegal act ought not to take place in the name of the IOC.
THE NEW TODAY calls on affiliated sporting organisations of the GOA to challenge the outcome of the elections in court and to allow for a judge to give a proper ruling on the legality of the procedures that were used in holding the elections.
Too many people in this country are only concerned with protecting their vested interests by seeking to maintain their stranglehold on organisations like GOA.
It is a known fact that some of the GOA executive members whenever they go out on IOC business are given VIP treatment that in some cases far supersede that which accorded to some Prime Ministers and Presidents in these small, poor and struggling Third World countries that they represent.
The GOA is no little, ordinary or poor sporting body but one that has a multi-million dollar budget comprised of funds from the IOC itself and monies given as donations from members of the private sector and others to conduct their business on behalf of our athletes.
Fresh elections are needed to bring some sanity to the GOA especially on issues such as integrity, morality, transparency and accountability.