Wednesday, February 9, 2011

IOC Issues Warning Ahead Of GNOC Elections

The Olympic body had earlier accused the Sport Ministry of interfering in the affairs of the GNOC
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued a stern warning that it will neither tolerate any outside interference in the election process nor in the Gambia National Olympic Committee’s (GNOC) internal affairs and operations.
The crisis surrounding the GNOC Presidential Elections is due to end on Feb.12, 2011, when sporting delegates take to the polls to elect a president.
However, IOC said the election process must be conducted exclusively under the jurisdiction the GNOC and in particular under the leadership of Ms Beatrice Allen, as NOC Acting President, according to the process that was established by the GNOC and with the list of voting members endorsed GNOC in accordance GNOC’s Constitution and the Olympic Charter.

The world sports body’s stance was contained in a 26 January letter to GNOC’s Ms Beatrice Allen. She has since been charged to court on charges of theft together with Ousman Abdou Wadda and Muhammad H. Janneh, Treasurer and Accounting Officer of the GNOC respectively.
“We have been informed of the difficulties that you personally and your NOC are currently facing. It is our understanding that a legal procedure is ongoing,” IOC’s Director of NOC Relations Pere MIRÓ said.
According to MIRÓ, should the election process not conducted as planned by the GNOC and endorsed by the IOC, the IOC “would not be in a position to recognise the outcomes and results of the General Assembly and would be forced to take appropriate action for the protection of the GNOC.
Such action,  MIRÓ stressed, will be in accordance with the Olympic Charter and in particular Rule 28.9 which states: “Apart from the measures and sanctions provided in the case of infringement of the Olympic Charter, the IOC Executive Board may take any appropriate decisions for the protection of the Olympic Movement in the country of an NOC, including suspension of or withdrawal of recognition from such NOC if the constitution, law or other regulations in force in the country concerned, or any act by any governmental or other body causes the activity of the NOC or the making or expression of its will to be hampered.
“We hope that everyone will understand the gravity of the situation and will strictly respect the jurisdiction of your NOC and the principles mentioned above which are based on your NOC Constitution and the Olympic Charter,” MIRÓ concluded.
Gambia Olympic body’s extraordinary congress on October 20, 2010 failed to elect a new leader to replace its convicted President Lt. Gen. Langtombong Tamba, after parties to the general assembly could not disagree as to who is qualified and who is not qualified to vote.
What followed was a cancellation of the elections by the National Sport Council.
In reaction, IOC said in a statement on October 31, 2010 that it appears clearly that the decision taken by the representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the National Sports Council (who were invited as observers) to cancel the GNOC General Assembly meeting that was taking place on 20 October 2010 is “an obvious interference with the internal affairs and operations” of the GNOC, which is in contradiction with the IOC principles and rules of the Olympic Charter.

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