TTSL Election showdown as.....
This year's T&T Super League (TTSL) annual general meeting (AGM) and election of officers, scheduled for November 29, could either be heading to the local court or it will be postponed to allow changes to the constitution that will enable the election to take place.
Guardian Media Sports was informed that four out of the five members of the Board of Directors of the TTSL have agreed for the elections and AGM to take place virtually next Sunday, while interim president Jameson Rigues, insists that the organisation's constitution, its electoral code and its by-laws, do not give permission for this to take place, particularly as elections are to be done via secret ballot.
The board comprises of Rigues, Colin Murray, Terry Joseph, Anderson Veronique who replaced Clayton Morris recently, and Eddison Dean. Both Veronique, the Prison Service member and Phoenix's George Joseph have said the election will go on as planned, considering the abnormal circumstances caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On Sunday, TTSL secretary Peter Thomas sent out letters to the membership informing them of the AGM and election but Rigues was not on his mailing list and found out from other colleagues.
Veronique said as far as he is aware, the constitution has made allowances for the election to take place and urged members to read the constitution carefully.
"The constitution says electronic voting can take place, so it's a matter of being factual and clear of what it says," said Veronique, pointing out that virtual sessions have been taking place around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it is the way to go.
Joseph, on the other hand, said he could see no logical-thinking person objecting to the election and AGM being held, considering the "unusual times we are existing in".
He gave the assurance that while the voting may not be 100 per cent secret, he is guaranteeing that "it will be 99.999 per cent secret on the day".
"The only difference is that you will not see the people who are voting," said Joseph adding that if the membership had a problem with the election to date, they would have said something by now, but none has said anything so far.
Meanwhile, Rigues believes the position being taken could lead to legal wranglings which he does not want at this time. Moments after officially submitting his nomination documents which were seconded by Petit Valley/Diego Martin United on Saturday, Rigues said he spoke to the members of the board about the breach of the constitution by attempting to have the elections virtually.
"I don't care too much about winning but rather doing the right thing," Rigues said.
According to Article 26- Elections: "1 Election shall be conducted by position and shall be conducted by secret ballot. 2 Elections of the TTSL shall be conducted in accordance with the Electoral Code of TTSL drawn up by the Board and adopted by the General Meeting."
In the TTSL By-Laws, Article 30- Elections state: "1 Elections shall be conducted by position and shall be conducted by secret ballot. 2 Elections of TTSL shall be conducted in accordance with the Electoral Code of TTSL drawn up by the Board of Management and adopted by the General Meeting."
According to Rigues, if the election cannot be held in accordance with the constitution then a meeting of the general membership should be called before the election to make amendments to the constitution, noting he did not mind if the AGM and elections are postponed for that purpose.
He is proposing that if amendments are not made to the constitution, then a suitable venue where all COVID-19 protocols, regarding sanitisation, social distancing etc can be observed, should be sought after, telling Guardian Media Sports, he is already on the look-out for the facility where this can be achieved.
"I prefer to take the time and do the right thing. There should be no rush for the election to be held, so even if it means the election has to be postponed, I do not mind. I just want to ensure that members feel comfortable that they have done the right thing and voted the right way," Rigues said, noting that time has been given in the constitution if the AGM cannot take place by December 31 this year, the deadline to hold AGM and elections, saying the membership can decide on another date.
Rigues, who was nominated by Guaya United, said in an email after submitting his documents: "It is my humble view that all TTSL members deserve fair and unbiased leadership. It is a time for a new generation of leadership - new men to cope with new problems and new opportunities."