By Sam Sooppersaud
As a kid growing up in Guyana my young friends and myself played a “show and tell game” called “picture nah sey picture”. This is how it went. One of us got a piece of paper with either printed words only on it or a picture of any sort on it. He held the paper in his hands behind his back. Then he asked his friends “picture nah sey picture”. Once the friends gave their answer, collectively after a discussion, the one holding the paper behind his back would then have to show the paper. However, he always won. How’s that! Depending on the answer he got, he switched the paper from front to back. For instance if the friends answered, “picture,” then he would switch to the side without the picture and showed it to his friends. If the answer were “no picture” then he would show the side with the picture. This way he always won. He was always in control of the game.
Back to USACA’s announced pending elections. The question is “elections or no elections”. Regardless what the answer to this question is, the reality is there would be no elections. No holding a piece of paper behind the back. No switching of sides of the paper. Recent actions of the “many members of the Board of Directors” have already cemented the answer “no elections”.
According to the USACA Constitution there are criteria, which must be satisfied before a general election can be held. There is a time line between nomination of candidates for the various offices and the notification of those nominated, by the Secretary, the time period between the time they are notified of their nomination and their acceptance, and the notification to the legitimate members of USACA. Let me be more specific.
I have in my hands at this time the Constitution of the USACA, which was adopted in January 2008. I am not able to log on to the USACA website at this writing to see whether there is a copy of the USACA Constitution, as this website has been hijacked. (Let’s keep the stakeholders wandering in the dark). ARTICLE XXl (ELECTIONS) Section 1: reads as follows: “Elections of the President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of USACA shall take place at a General Meeting or Special Meeting. Elections shall be held no later than November 30 of each electoral year, consistent with the electoral cycle.
By the way the “consistent with the electoral cycle” appears to have no meaning for the people who NOW control USACA, the “many of the Board of Directors”, a famous phrase of our President. Elections were last held in March 2008, thereby mandating that the next elections should have been held in March 2011. There were no elections therefore it is apparent that the “consistent with the electoral cycle” as stipulated in the USACA Constitution has no weight as far as the “many members of the Board of Directors” are concerned. It should be noted that the term limit in office for an elected official is three (3) years. This is one shovel of cement in building the stonewall!
Section 3 of the said Article (Nomination of Board Members) reads as follows: Nomination for election as a member of the Board shall occur in accordance with the following:
Sub-Section 1: All nominations must be in writing and shall state the legal name and contact information of the person being nominated and must be sent to the Executive Secretary no later that 30 days prior to the elections. A Compliance Review procedure has been implemented by the President or by the “many members of the Board of Directors”, the results of which have not yet been made known (if at all the Review was completed). Therefore it is logical to assume that without the results of the Compliance Review no one knows which leagues are eligible (or ineligible) to participate in the elections process. I have information indicating that three (3) persons have announced their candidacy for the presidency, whether they have been formally nominated is not known. I know of no other nomination for the other offices. But several persons have told me, in our informal conversations, that they may be interested in seeking office.
At this present time the President has unconstitutionally suspended the Executive Secretary after “consulting many members of the Board of Directors”. (This matter is being addressed in several other articles, thus I would not address it here). So then at this time there is no Secretary in place to receive nominations as specified by the Constitution of USACA. The specific directions in the Constitution are that nominations “must be sent to the Executive Secretary. So far the stakeholders are not aware of anyone being appointed as Acting Secretary. The other Board officials cannot constitutionally accept nominations. No nominations, therefore, no elections. (Do you suppose this was some clever thinking on the part of those who do not want the elections to take place!)? This is the second shovel of cement for building the stonewall.
Allow me to continue;
Sub-Section ii The Executive Secretary must immediately notify the individual of his nomination.
iii. Within 5 days of notification, the nominee must accept the nomination in writing and shall provide all relevant information to complete a background check, to the entity selected by the Board to conduct the background checks.
iv. All valid nominations must be circulated to the legitimate members at least 21 days prior to the elections.
It is impossible at this ninth hour for the nomination process to be completed as per the time line specified in the Constitution. Again, the Compliance Review process is not yet completed so how would a determination be made as to who are the “legitimate members” and to whom the valid nominations must be circulated?
Scheduled elections are 12 days away and it does not take a rocket scientist to conclude that it is a total impossibility for these elections to be held on time.
So “picture nah sey picture,” I say “no picture”. Elections or no elections. I say no elections.
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