The membership of the T&T Super League (TTSL) will decide whether the continuation of last Sunday's AGM and Election of Officers will go on virtually as planned today.
Interim president Jameson Rigues, who is set to be contested by former national defender and captain Clayton Morris for the position of president, has said he will not be attending the election because of the illegality of it, citing a clear violation of the TTSL constitution, its bye-laws and election code to have the election held without a secret-ballot process.
Second vice president Eddison Dean said a letter has been put to the general membership for the elections to take place virtually. He noted, the proposal was made by Club Sando and seconded by Bethel, and once the membership votes for it, then there will be an election.
"If the membership does not vote for it then there will be no elections. Only the membership will decide," Dean said on Saturday.
Four out of five members of the board of directors of the TTSL - Dean, Colin Murray, Anderson Veronique, and Terry Joseph - have agreed to allow the membership to decide on the voting process, as Dean assured there is a provision in the bye-laws for virtual election to take place.
Dean has assured also that constitutional expert Osmond Downer has been invited to be an observer, along with Norris Ferguson, an ex-football administrator, with Borris Punch as the man conducting the elections, saying anyone who has a problem with the constitution can ask Downer.
It is unsure if the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee will play any part in the election, though the committee's chairman Robert Hadad said last week. they will attempt to provide assistance in observing and mediation.
Last Sunday, the AGM and election were called off due to disruption and on Tuesday the board, minus Rigues, took a decision to continue it today.
According to Dean: "We are guided by our bye-laws and our bye-laws say what we're doing is correct. The Super League board called the AGM. Tomorrow (Sunday), there is a letter inside and I am repeating myself, but if you read the bye-laws, it will guide you. There is a letter inside to amend the constitution so we can have the elections done virtually.
"Once the members vote in favour of that, elections will happen. If the members say they're not in favour, there will be no elections, and only the membership can decide. Neither the president, the vice president, the secretary, nobody but the voting members, and there are 14 of them."
Rigues held an Emergency General Meeting of the membership yesterday at which he attempted to convince them to support a face-to-face election on December 20 at the Cascadia Hotel in St Ann's.
The TTSL president said: "The meeting went ahead, there was a quorum and we made several decisions concerning the notice of suspension that went out to seven clubs, and also the conduct of the League secretary, and the election of a president, and also the delegates that have to be chosen for the TTFA."
Rigues is against having discussions for the suspended clubs after the election, believing that the suspended clubs should be re-instated and given voting rights immediately to vote at the elections.
Dean told Guardian Media Sports that discussion on the suspended clubs was always set to take place after the election of officers.
Disappointed by the turn of events, Rigues has promised to stay away from the elections today, as he does not want to condone the violation of the constitution.
"As the legal representative for the TTSL, if I attend that meeting, that would mean that I will be condoning the breaking and the ignoring of the TTSL Statutes and the electoral code. I stand firm to the view that we should have that particular agenda item hosted face-to-face, which is the right thing to do."
Rigues noted that last week's board meeting to decide on the continuation of the AGM/Elections in its entirety was not called by the processes of the TTSL but was rather called by certain members who have ulterior motives.
The super boss also lashed out at secretary Peter Thomas for acting outside of his scope of work, without consultation with his supervisor which is the president.
Rigues in, an official release yesterday, stated: "The Emergency General Meeting of the TTSL summoned by the interim president of the TTSL was convened this morning at 10 am. Eleven (11) of the 21 TTSL member clubs attended which constituted a quorum. The interim president called the meeting to order and the membership elected a secretary for the meeting.
The three Agenda Items: Item 1) the membership status of all TTSL clubs. Item 2) the removal and replacement of the Secretary. Item 3) discussion on hosting the election of president as per the dictates of the TTSL Statutes. After wide-ranging contributions and discussions on each Agenda Item, motions were moved and seconded, followed by a vote.
The meeting unanimously voted on each of the following motions:
1) The removal of any suspension notices and the TTSL to recognise the full rights of the seven members that were issued suspension notices by the League Secretary.
2) The immediate removal and replacement of Mr Peter Thomas as League secretary of the TTSL
3) The election of president and the selection of TTSL delegates to the TTFA to be held on December 20, 2020, at a venue under conditions approved by the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 guidelines. The meeting also took decisions with respect to the actions of the board and the secretary and directed the interim president to forward two letters to the board members and to the secretary.
The decisions of the meeting were: a) In keeping with Article 17.3 of the By-Laws, which states; “Only the president may propose the appointment or dismissal of the League secretary.”
Communicate to the board in writing and propose the removal and replacement of Peter Thomas from the position of League secretary with immediate effect.
b) Give notice to the League secretary, Mr Peter Thomas that he shall not issue any correspondence in the name of the TTSL without the approval of the interim president. Article 18.4, subsection (a) of the TTSL By-Laws states, “He shall be responsible for implementing decisions passed by the general meeting and board of management in compliance with the president’s directives.”
SOURCE: T&T Guardian