Liberia in limbo as court docket order stops presidential election after first vote

 

By Paul Nicholson

April 16 – The election for the brand new president of the Liberian FA (LFA) at its 34th Annual Congress was dramatically suspended on the weekend after the primary spherical of voting when a court docket order was issued questioning the eligibility of Musa Shannon, already a serving LFA vp.

Shannon has beforehand admitted taking $1,500 from funds FIFA despatched to the LFA for Ebola help. That cash was distributed by LFA president Musa Bility. Shannon mentioned he had taken that cash for private use, however had repaid it through his LFA stipend.

The court docket submission was filed by one of many presidential candidates George Solo however was not enacted till the primary spherical of votes had been taken and the votes had been counted.

LFA guidelines say there must be a majority of 17 plus 1 votes – Mustapha Raji had 16 votes, Musa Shannon 13 votes, whereas Solo had 5 votes.

Solo’s declare is that Shannon – who’s closely supported by Bility – ought to have been disqualified primarily based on integrity checks that might have highlighted the Ebola cash discrepancies.

With the primary spherical of voting over, Bility declared there needs to be a run-off between Shannon and Raji. The court docket order prevented that taking place however Bility mentioned that the election can be concluded at a later date with a vote between the 2 remaining candidates.

What will not be clear is whether or not that’s allowed inside LFA statutes. What’s extra possible is new electoral course of will must be held, from the beginning, and the ground opened to new candidates. A lot of different potential candidates have already mentioned they might stand, together with Rochell Woodson, the LFA whistleblower who was going to face for the presidency however pulled out complaining that the election was following neither FIFA or LFA electoral guidelines or statutes.

The election for the LFA president was already mired in controversy and political intervention from new nationwide president George Weah’s authorities.

Whereas Bility had been pushing for what would successfully be his proxy in Musa Shannon, Weah’s authorities needed Nigerian Raji inserted into the highest slot on the LFA. As a Nigerian nationwide it isn’t clear whether or not Raji could be eligible to carry the place of elected. This didn’t cease Weah dispatching authorities officers to foyer for him.

as within the case of Musa Bility in FIFA 2015 elections.

Parliamentary consultant Muna Pelham Youngblood, a detailed and more and more controversial political confidant of President George Weah, met the Girls Soccer Membership Presidents at their Camp Johnson street headquarters informing them that she was on a mission from the President with a direct mandate telling them to vote for Raji.

She mentioned that Weah wouldn’t work with any of the others contesting the elections. Weah, who’s a earlier FIFA world footballer of the yr, has seemingly damaged one of many principal guidelines of FIFA governance when it comes to utilizing his governmental affect to dictate the path of the LFA’s administration.

FIFA had been warned of the election irregularities and was superficially monitoring the scenario having requested LFA normal secretary Emanuel Deah to reply to allegations of breaches of the electoral code and statutes.

His responses have been clearly convincing sufficient for FIFA to permit the election to happen, although they have been clearly not robust sufficient to forestall the Liberian judicial system to step in to the fray. Nonetheless, FIFA’s vigilance in Liberia’s case once more appears to observe its pursuits throughout the remainder of Africa, the place most well-liked elected officers’ credentials are judged by who they are often relied upon to help at worldwide stage, moderately than what they do at native stage.

Contact the author of this story at moc.l1523944168labto1523944168ofdlr1523944168owedi1523944168sni@n1523944168osloh1523944168cin.l1523944168uap1523944168

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