LBA Fails to Rush Elections; Congress, Elections Feb. 17 & 18

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    Perhaps the Liberia Basketball Federation is working against itself; for the second time, LNOC and Youth and Sports oficials have quashed the association’s rush elections set for February 6.

    The new dates are: Congress February 17, and Elections February 18. Information reaching the Daily Observer last night said, “Elections will go on after deliberations at the Congress are done.” It means that the elections’ date could be extended if the need arises, a source said.

    After a lengthy dialogue at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and LNOC officials yesterday, LBF officials were made to see the reason they should not have a congress and an election the same day, as planned.

    “They were told that Congress is an assembly,” said an official who was at the meeting and asked not to be named, “and therefore properly, the administration must provide a four-year financial and administrative report to the body for discussion.”

    LNOC president Philibert Brown was reported to have put his foot on the ground, recommending for the Rufus Anderson’s administration, whose tenure expired last November, to provide one year financial and other administrative report for Congress’ deliberations.

    “The elections are long overdue,” he was quoted as saying, “and therefore to demand a four-year report might delay them.”

    Outgoing president Anderson was reported to have said, “I concur to what Mr. Brown has recommended.”

    “The administration has been mandated to provide the documents to all club presidents for their review on February 2,” according to sources at the association.

    He said, “I think it is victory for those of us who have seen major leadership problems in the administration of basketball in the last four years.”

    Having won the first round of their cause, club presidents are demanding that the Elections Commission must set guidelines that allow for any club president or owner who desires to run for the leadership.

    And perhaps this is where the problem is. The administration has reportedly observed potential candidates that could sweep victory election day, and therefore it has been influencing guidelines to deny others from running.

    “We are determined to correct this,” another club president told the Daily Observer.

    Another problem the Anderson administration has condoned is the use of double names for the association: According to its Constitution, it is: the Liberia Basketball Federation, a copy of which is with the Daily Observer but official communication has: Liberia Basketball Association.

    “That in itself is against the Constitution,” a club president said.

    A second copy of a document circulated by Secretary General D. Allen Goodridge about the now cancelled Feb. 6 elections named a three-member commissioners instead of an election commission.

    Those named are Mr. Jerome M, Hodge, chairman, with members Ms. Sussie Hayes and Mr. John P. Sheriff. “This was hurriedly done by the administration when many club presidents raised issues in the first circular of January 10,” he said.

    Youth and Sports and LNOC officials insisted that the proper thing to do, in line with its constitution and not those of the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) is to use its own guidelines.

    “Mr. Brown told the outgoing administration to use its Constitutional provisions and not that of FIBA,” our source said.

    What then becomes the use of double names for the association?

    “Since the Constitution calls it LBF,” said another official, “why does Anderson’s administration refers to the body as LBF/LBA?”

    In the end club presidents who have said Anderson administration has outlived its usefulness will not relent until what one of them hopes must come to pass for the old administration happens.

    “We want basketball to take a new but positive course and we can achieve that only when we allow any owner and club president who desires to run in the forthcoming election do so without obstruction.”

     This is a challenge to Rufus Anderson’s re-election bid and as to whether he sees himself losing an election that his administration is determined to deprive others to run will be seen in the weeks to come.

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