Candidate Abdoulie Bax Touray storms out of Elections
|Dibba (pix gambiasports)|
The General Body of The Gambia National Olympic Committee (GNOC) on Saturday voted 26-0 to fill the position of president which has been vacant since November 2009, when former President Lt Gen Langtombong Tamba was arrested, charged to court and convicted of plotting a coup.
Out of a possible 47 votes, eight sporting associations having double votes, and 10 sporting associations and individuals with single votes voted for Alhagie Momodou Dibba, giving him a total of 26 votes. The remaining 21, including sporting associations with double and single votes and individual voters boycotted the polls, leaving presidential hopeful Abdoulie Bax Touray with zero votes.
Touray’s camp boycott was led by the President of The Gambia Cricket Association Mr. John G. Gomez, who earlier on argued that they cannot be a party to the elections after his demand for the voter list to be read out was not adhered to by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The IEC Director of Operations Mr. Samboujang Njie noted that the voter list that the IEC has is the final voter list that was reached by the National Assembly Select Committee on Sports, which has been endorsed by the GNOC.
However, Mr. Gomez was not satisfied with that, arguing that the Select Committee’s Report was an interim report and hence the voter list is deemed interim. He said the list should have been put forward before a general body for endorsement.
|Touray (pix Jollof News)|
“The IEC ensures the conduct of credible elections premised on a voter list agreed by parties submitted, verified and endorsed by the electoral authority,” he said, before leading a walk out off the election grounds taking along with him, presidential nominee Abdoulie Bax Touray and some prospective voters, among them sporting associations.
In an interview with journalists, President elect of the GNOC Alhagie Momodou Dibba reiterated that majority of sporting associations and individual sport personalities want to see a positive change after 21 years in the doldrums.
He said his sport development agenda as a genuine contender since the inception of the election campaign has been; to focus on sporting associations, the athletes to develop and excel in their various sporting disciplines; ensure that GNOC takes full responsibility to regularize associations annual contribution to their respective international federations, in order to have a platform in the activities of these international bodies; to erect a Multi-purpose sports facility to cater for the smaller associations in the development process, among other things.
Mr. Dibba made no acceptance speech, but told journalists that he was happy with the elections and commends delegates for bestowing the trust in him by electing him as president.
The protracted GNOC elections was first scheduled for October 20, 2010 but was called-off by the National Sports Council after allegations of unconstitutionality of the voter list. This followed a stalemate prompting the National Assembly Select Committee on Sports to intervene by conducting an independent inquiry into the allegations and come up with a Report, which scheduled February 12, 2011 as the election date.