LBA Agrees: Congress before Elections

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Now the right thing must be done to cool all hearts. And Liberia Basketball Association President Rufus Anderson has agreed to do just that.

Hence, the January 28 date set for the elections for the leadership of the association has been scrapped.

Information reaching the Daily Observer yesterday with stakeholders and the administration, with the Liberia National Olympic officials ended with Anderson administration agreeing to do things right.

“Mr. Brown recommended to the administration to scrap the January 28 elections,” said an insider who was at the meeting, “and take necessary measures to promote goodwill.”

President Anderson accepted the recommendation to carry out the necessary things, he said. “There will be a new date, after Congress.”

“At the Congress the administration is expected to outline its activities for the last four years,” he added.

The Anderson administration will also provide a financial report, explaining what funds were received from either the private or government; how much was spent and what contracts were signed.

The next step, he said, “will be the setting up of an Independent Elections Commission.”

The Commission, without the administration’s influence, “will then produce guidelines about eligibility for interested candidates for the various positions.”

The LNOC is the mother body to all federations and associations and it has major influence upon them.

“The LNOC sponsors periodic clinics to develop athletes and coaches as well as officials,” admitted another observer who was at the meeting, “and hence its officials are very straightforward when it comes to proper administration.”

Until the cancellation of the elections yesterday, the Liberia Basketball Association had released detailed guidelines, including fees for positions from president (U$500); vice presidents for administration and operations, (U$400 each); treasurer, (U$300); Financial Secretary, (U$300) and chaplain (U$200).

“It was not released by an elections commission,” the Daily Observer was told yesterday, “and as a result it was clear that some club members would be unhappy.”

Though the guidelines emanated from the LBA, they quoted in several places election rules by the Federation of the International Basketball Association, (FIBA).

It was learned that 14 third division basketball teams, including Destiny Kings, Star 1, Island Clippers, Bong Shooters, Island Calves, Buchanan Braves, Harbel Tappers and Mamba Point Legends did not take part in last season’s league.

“Surprisingly,” another insider hinted, “they were qualified to vote despite being irregulars.”

The cancellation of the January 28th election may be a major blow to incumbent Rufus Anderson whose administration has already seen a crack in its unity, with its financial secretary claiming financial impropriator.

“It means that eligibility status will be announced by the future Elections Commission and not the LBA as it was done,” our source said. Now with a new eligibility status, it means the surprise that the administration had expected can no longer hold.

And this provides other candidates who were apparently told were ineligible another opportunity to join the race.

“As far as I’m concerned,” said one club president, “we are aware of those who are capable to lead the LBA and therefore it does not make sense to introduce rules to deny potential candidates a chance to give their support to basketball.”

This is so because, like football, basketball owners are simply investing their resources in players without returns for their investment. “We must welcome those who are desirous to see a better basketball,” he said.

Another added, “We love the game and want to make sure that it survives and develops to take its proper place in Liberia.”

That sounds interesting, but with Anderson not ready to go down so easily, the new rules or eligibility and internal discontent may prove his undoing in the end.

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