Lawn Tennis Interim VPO Calls for Elections

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Kehleboe Gongloe, interim vice president for operations, Liberia Tennis Federation

Seeks Ministry of Youth & Sports’ Intervention

The leadership crisis in the Liberia Tennis Federation is in the shadow-boxing stage as interim vice president for operations, Kehleboe Gongloe, launches an appeal to Youth and Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson to intervene.

He told journalists last Saturday in Monrovia that he is making the call because the head of the federation, Clarence Simpson has refused to call for elections, an accusation that Simpson has denied.

Mr. Gongloe said the LTF’s last leadership election was held in 2009 but since the expiration of that leadership, the federation has been engulfed with leadership crisis.

He said in October 2017, the former Minister of Youth and Sports, Saa N’tow, inducted into office Mr. Simpson as an interim president; Ms. Ruth Jappah, interim vice president for administration; and Mr. Kehleboe Gongloe as interim vice president for operations with the mandate to administer the affairs of the Federation for one year.

He added that they cannot allow the interim administration whose legal term has expired to conduct business in the name of the federation.

“We the members of the LTF, coaches, and players including one member of the interim administration call on the Ministry of Youth and Sports not to recognize, nor transact business with the Simpson interim administration,” Mr. Gongloe said.

He added, “We further recommend to the ministry to authorize the Director of Sports to conduct free and fair elections for the LTF within 30 days using our constitution.”

On the other hand, the Interim president has said at no time his leadership has refused to go for elections. Mr. Simpson said before taking interim leadership of the LTF, the federation agreed on all its guidelines, one of which states that every member of the federation should pay yearly dues and failure on the part of any member to pay said dues would result in their forfeiture of voting right in the federation.

He challenged any of those who are calling for an election to show the Ministry of Youth and Sports receipts of payments of dues agreed to pay by members.

“According to the federation’s bylaws, the only way a person will be considered as a registered member to have the right to vote is for the person to pay his or her annual dues, which they all have failed to do,” he said.

He said no member of his interim leadership is allowed to run for any position in any election that would be held under his interim leadership, so he is ready to turn over power to any administration to come through the federation’s guideline.

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