15 April 2013

Gambia: IOC Condemns Meddling in GNOC Saga

International Olympic Committee has condemned interference into the issues of the Gambia National Olympic Committee, Foroyaa Sport has gathered. The condemnation is in reaction to the recent injunction issued by the country's upper court to put on hold the GNOC elective congress pending a court hearing -a move which, according to IOC and Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa, runs counter to GNOC constitution and the principle of the Olympic Movement.

In a statement issued 11th April, IOC and ANOCA urge that the matter that has led to the creation of two feuding camps be resolved at NOC level, while voicing 'extreme' surprise over the request for a government body to oversee the Committee's presidential elections. Signed by IOC NOC relation director and ANOCA president Intendant General Lassana Palenfo and copied to Sports Minister Alieu Kebba Jammeh, the three-page dispatch states that elections must only be conducted by an independent three-member election commission elected by the GNOC General Assembly, as stipulated in the constitution.

The International bodies request the GNOC to convey and extraordinary General Assembly as soon as possible with the following road map which it strictly ordered to be adhered to.

(i) To clarify any doubt as to the membership and voting rights of any member and request that the General Assembly (as the highest decision-making body of the GNOC) takes a final decision on those issues in accordance with the GNOC Constitution and Olympic Charter.

(ii) Elect the three members of the independent election commission which will conduct and supervise the GNOC elections in accordance with the GNOC Constitution. The release recommend for the Elective General Assembly, as soon as the completion of the first step, to proceed with the election of the members of the NOC executive board for the next four years on the basis of the national Olympic committee's constitution and Olympic Charter.

"It goes without saying that until this process can be completed in accordance with this roadmap, the IOC and ANOCA will continue recognizing the current members of the GNOC Executive Board, and in particular Mr. Momodou DIBBA in his capacity as President and Mr. Peter PROM in his capacity as Secretary General", it states. The dispatch pleads "we hope that everyone will understand the gravity of the situation and will fully support and strictly adhere to this roadmap so that free and fair elections can be held as soon as possible and within three months". It could be recalled, that Lawyer Badou S. Conteh, as attorney for trio plaintiffs Sheriff Jammeh, Jonny Gomez and Alieu Jallow, filed an injunction motion with incumbent Momodou Dibba, Beatrice Allen and Peter Prom as defendants. The motion granted by the High Court ordered for the elective congress earlier slated for March 23rd be postponed pending a court hearing 24th April.

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