New Twist In LFA Elections,-Electoral Guidelines Vs FIFA Statute ,-Who’s To Be Blamed?

It now seems that the ensuing elections of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) is taking a new twist as there are claims that the Elections Commission has violated the Electoral Code and the New Approved Statutes by stating that, “no single club shall nominate more than one aspirant for each of the two vice presidential posts and no club shall nominate more than 10 aspirants for the executive committee.”

Already two stakeholders have raised serious issues on what they described as ‘election guideline violations’ by the LFA Elections Committee in the just concluded qualification of presidential and executive committee members for the March 22 elections in Buchannan, Grand Bassa County.

The two aspirants for the LFA Executive Committee (EC) position have urged the local football governing body to tackle the alleged violation to avoid interference from Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA).

Mustpaha Raji, head of LISCR FC claimed that the Elections Committee violated LFA’s Approved Statutes, referencing Article 58.2 which states: “No one (1) member shall propose two (2) or more candidates, ” which he said should have been sufficient for the process.

The LISCR FC boss argued that, Article 9 of the LFA’s Electoral Code acknowledges the primacy of the statutes when it states: “The eligibility criteria are defined by the code and the LFA statutes and must comply with the statutes and regulations of FIFA.”

Already, the election committee has disqualified two of the three candidates aspiring for the Vice President for Operation (VPO) position; on grounds that both Adolph Lawrence, the incumbent and Mr. Alfred Saryon were nominated by a club, Gardnersville FC. That act, according to the LFA’s elections’ omission contravenes the electoral regulation governing the pending FA’s elections.

The two candidates were barred from further participating in the electoral process as the consequence of being selected by one club team, which accordingly was a complete violation.

Amidst the decision, Raji has openly lodged his dissatisfaction over the action from the elections commission and therefore insisted that the Executive Committee, which is the highest decision-making body in the absence of congress, should immediately address the alleged violation.

He further quoted FIFA’s electoral code article 26 which states that “Failure by the association (member) to apply the principles of this code shall be considered a serious violation of the provisions of article 13 of the FIFA Statutes…”

In the same manner, Georgian FC President, Wilmot Smith called on the LFA to set the records straight by correcting the alleged violation and that the alarm on the alleged violation demonstrates leadership and honesty.

Chapter 25, article 58.2 of the LFA newly approved statues says, “No one (1) member shall propose two (2) or more candidates.”

That violation of the LFA’s Statute prompted the Elections Committee to name only FC Fassell’s President, Cassell A. Kouh, Sr. as the lone qualified candidate for the Vice President for Operation position.

Not only that Adolph and Sayon were nominated by the same club in violation of the rules, but that their documents from the same club had questionable signatures.

On Thursday, February 27, 2014, the Elections Committee cleared 15 applicants for the forthcoming elections slated for March 22, 2014.

Meanwhile, the LFA says as per the Statutes and Electoral Code, which were duly approved recently by an Extraordinary Congress in Monrovia, it is obliged to protect the independence of the Committee irrespective of subjective views.

However, the elections committee has said that there are provisions guiding the process and anyone who is not satisfied must take advantage of them.

As it stands, nobody has the answer to all of the concerns already being raised in the build-up to the LFA’s elections. Already, there are reports that one side of the aggrieved parties has complained to FIFA, citing the violation of the international laws.

Some followers of the game have blamed Rep. Lawrence for being insensitive to the very statute that they approved. Others have said that Rep. Lawrence’s failure to observe such guideline clearly shows how inactive he had been, despite serving as Vice President for Operation (VPO) of the local football house.

The majority of the stakeholders have blamed Rep. Lawrence for abandonment of his post, therefore terming his denial by the elections Committee as a ‘just clear manifestation’ of his lack of interest in the job. Rep. Adolph Lawrence has served in that capacity for eight unbroken years and attempted for another term, but was denied by the elections committee.

The final lists of candidates are: M. Hassan A. Bility, President; Musa Shannon and Sekou Konneh; Vice President for Administration, Cassell A. Kuoh, Sr., Vice President for Operations.

Executive Committee Women Seat: Ciata Bishop and Executive Committee Members include: Ansu V. S. Dulleh, J. Allan Klayee, Dee-Maxwell Kemeyah, Sr., Samuel Y. Karn,  Rochell G. D. Woodson,  D. Sheba Brown,  Wallace Weiah and S. Matthew P. Smith. Others are Cyrus Wright, Wilmot Smith, Mustapha Raji, Adolphus Harmon, Korpo Kpoto, Yanqueh S. Borsay, Urias Glaybo, Lemuel Sherman and Samuel Ashley. Writes D.Webster Cassell