Presidential Candidate George Solo Sues ‘LFA Electoral Process’
The Liberia Football Association (LFA) Elections were almost over last Saturday afternoon at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex when the unexpected happened.
The three presidential candidates included Mustapha Raji, who had received 16 votes, with two votes shy of winning the absolute majority; Musa Shannon had secured 13 votes and George Solo had secured five votes.
The Election Commission members had announced that since none of the candidates could secure an absolute majority, there would be a run-off between Raji and Shannon.
“We are asking you for a one-hour break,” someone from the commission announced.
As the gathering began to disperse, two men in khaki uniforms, with Sheriff Insignias on their shoulders, made their way into the election hall.
Many of those who had gathered and observed the events watched in apparent surprise, wondering what the agents of the court were doing there.
The two men approached the commission and made some inquiries. Satisfied of what they sought, they thrust an open document into the hands of the representative they were directed to. After the receiver read the document, the instruction was that she would sign and take delivery of it.
The election commission’s representative held the document and read through it. Placing the document on a table, she signed it, returned it to the court lawyers who pulled out the duplicate copy, and returned the original copy to the representative.
Excited, the two sheriffs left the election hall swiftly, just as they had entered. Meanwhile, at the presidential section, where the three candidates had been sitting, along with others, one of the presidential candidates, George Solo, was missing.
Though elections officials did not make the contents of the document available to the media, it was, however, learned and confirmed by Mr. Solo yesterday in a telephone conversation that he was the author of the injunction.
“Long before the election, I filed a protest at the Commission with my concerns which were not looked into,” Mr. Solo said yesterday. “I also made a protest to the LFA Appeals Committee which it failed to address.”
Mr. Solo alleged that a member of the appeals committee told him, “We don’t want to open a Pandora’s box because big hands are behind this.”
Mr. Solo did not say who the alleged official described as ‘big hands;’ and therefore with the failure of the LFA’s Protest and Appeals ‘committee to at least call the case and decide on its merits and demerits, he chose to use the law to set records right.
“Someone told me that because it is a football matter, the case cannot go to court,” Solo said. “I know it is not true because every electoral process has recourse in the confines of the law.”
The situation now is that the run-off cannot be held until the case is held and judgment is delivered at the court.
Supporters of many of the successful candidates in other categories expressed their disappointment on the action by Mr. Solo to use the law to address his concerns; however, many agreed that the LFA’s committees should look into whatever concerns Mr. Solo has raised.
“He is one of the candidates; therefore it would have made sense for the committees’ responsible that his complain should have been heard,” some said.
Until the injunction made its appearance on the floor, the new executive committee members, along with the vice president for operations Wilmot Smith and administration Sekou Konneh, had been completed.
In the presidential elections, incumbent vice president for administration Musa Shannon, who is seeking the presidency, surprised many. “Because of his role as vice president for eight years to outgoing leader Musa Bility, many of us thought it would not have mattered to favor Raji,” said one stakeholder.
“That Mr. Shannon got 13 votes showed a great deal of something that I cannot speak of,” he said.
As candidates and supporters left the election hall, Music Madrid, a group of musicians from West Point, blasted some of their memorable songs that asked stakeholders to vote for those whose record indicated they have the passion for the development of the game.