The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Incumbents Remain Disqualified! …As LBA Goes To Rerun Elections Next Saturday

The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) has upheld the November 30 decision of the Election Commission of the Liberia Basketball Association (LBA), disqualifying incumbent President, T. Rufus Anderson, VPO, Bruce Quaye, and incumbent Financial Secretary, Jairus Harris, thereby agreeing on a rerun elections date for next Saturday, December 21, 2019.
The decision comes following a heated closed-doors meeting held amongst key stakeholders of the Liberia Basketball Association at the Ministry of Youth and Sports offices in Paynesville. The meeting was arranged by the ministry to look into claims and counters following a tensed November 30th elective congress of basketball stakeholders.
Anderson, the outgoing LBA’s boss insisted after the LBA’s elections on Saturday, November 30th that he remains the embattled president of basketball until there is an official communique from FIBA Afrique, authenticating the legitimacy of the association’s electoral process which witnessed the automatic ascendency of a new team of leaders to steer the affairs of the LBA for the next four years.
Incumbent Anderson presented a laundry list of what pundits referred to as flimsy justifications for holding the LBA ransom after he blatantly ignored and violated the elections’ guidelines that led to his disqualification from the process.
The outgoing LBA boss was a victim of what appeared to be a double-standard game, after he and two others, Atty. Bruce Quaye, Vic President for Operations and Jairus Harris, Sr. Financial Secretary of the LBA tricked the Elections Committee.
But contrary to what was dispelled by Mr. Anderson, the Commission’s report presented a detailed breakdown of what transpired prior to the day of the elections.
The commission narrated in its report that during the course of the exercise, specifically between November 25 to 29, the commissioners, the LBA leadership, officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Basketball’s stakeholders debated and agreed in principle that all electoral fees for candidates wishing to contest, be paid directly to the commission instead of the LBA’s Account which was under the direct control of Anderson and his financial Secretary.
”Another reason why all the parties agreed to pay the electoral funds directly to the commission was because the various banks were experiencing serious liquidity shortages, and this situation would have caused serious impediment to the commission given the fact the commission would not have had access to the deposited funds,” the commission narrated.
“Still traversing the issue of electoral fees, it should be noted that during the course of the meetings held between November 25 and 29, with the respective parties, Presidential candidate Rufus Anderson, Vice Presidential candidate for Operations, Bruce Quaye, and Financial Secretary candidate, Jairus J. Harris, Sr., all intimated and submitted deposit slips dated November 23, 2019 to the commission showing that they had paid their respective electoral fees into the LBA’s Account at the LBDI, and as such they were qualified to contest the elections.
According to the Commission’s report, the candidates said that their electoral fees were in the account and that the said money would be made available to the commission upon their request since the account was under their supervision.
Interestingly, on Saturday, November 30, the commission discovered that Candidates Rufus Anderson, Bruce Quaye and Jairus J. Harris, Sr. (LBA Executive Committee Members) withdrew their electoral fees from the association’s LBDI Account the same November 23 they deposited the said amount. The commissioners also observed that the purported deposit slips exhibited by the Three-Hebrew-brothers did not correspond with the cash available in the association’s account, stressing that the candidates misled the commission and the Ministry of Youth and Sports as regards their payment of electoral fees.

Meanwhile, the Ministry has insisted that a rerun be held since the elections were held in the absence of the FIBA Africa observer who earlier left the congress hall. That means, president elect, Abraham Samukai, Vice President for Operations, Edwin Fahnbulleh will remain unopposed, while incumbent Jake Kabakollie will battle EC members Potter for the Vice President for Administration post. That is to say, all other decisions of the elections commission remain valid and therefore recognized by the MYS.
However, a new election date has been set for Saturday, December 21, at the SKD Sports Complex in Paynesville. Writes D. Webster Cassell

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