AN arbitration has called for fresh Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) elections after finding that there were irregularities in the polls that were conducted in February.
The recommendation was made by Advocate Monaheng Rasekoai who mediated in the dispute over the election.
Advocate Rasekoai recommended that fresh elections should be held within a week of his verdict.
Matlohang Moiloa Ramoqopo was re-elected Lesotho Olympic Committee (LNOC) president amid allegations that she and her committee violated the constitution to prolong their stay in office.
Ramoqopo and her colleagues in the previous LNOC allegedly contested without meeting the constitutional requirements that stipulate that a contestant should be nominated by any of the associations other than the LNOC which is the mother body.
Part of Advocate Rasekoai’s decision states that “the executive committee’s decision to resolve that members of the executive committee should vote in the election was tantamount to an irregular amendment of the constitution”.
“This was clearly a fundamental flaw that vitiated the entire process.
“The elections held on 26 February 2017 were irregularly conducted and fresh elections must be held within a week of this award in line with regulation 12 of Lesotho National Olympic Committee elections guidelines,” Advocate Rasekoai states.
Speaking on the report which was availed to the media at Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena in Maseru on Tuesday, the complaints team led by Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) secretary general, Mokhosi Mohapi, said they were vindicated by Advocate Rasekoai’s findings.
“We were appointed to oversee the LNOC elections and we took the matter to the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) even before we went for the polls,” Mohapi said.
“That is why we even refrained from voting because we knew that we had a strong case to defend.
“But the judgement shows that we were right all along to lodge a protest over the elections.”
He said they were now waiting for LNOC to respond to the judgement.
He said if LNOC ignored the judgement they would take up the matter the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Meanwhile, LNOC Public Relations Officer, Moshoeshoe Molapo, said they withdrew from the arbitration because they feel the matter was not handled properly from the start.
“Our belief is that there should have been consultation over the matter and the protesting team were given a chance to give evidence which they failed to do.
“There was also issue of the finances where it was said that the cost should be shared between the two parties, but we believe that he who complains should pay the cost,” Molapo said.
He however, said they will study the recommendations from the arbitration before responding.
“Despite the fact that the arbitration went ahead even after we withdraw, we will study the recommendation as it involves us as the sports mother body,” he said.