NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16 – The Executive Committee Members of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) have been stripped off their elections voting powers.
The decision was made during an extraordinary general assembly meeting of NOCK affiliates attended by 19 federations in Nairobi.
The draft constitution recognizes members of the Executive Committee as non-voting members in such capacity in the meetings of the general assembly.
The recommendation has dealt a mortal blow to the re-election ambitions of current Nock executive officials by striping them off those voting rights.
The amendment is a big blow for the sitting executive since the previous arrangement gave them a big head start of 13 if they agreed to vote as bloc, a scenario that has seen them cling on to power and lock out any challenger.
Seven of the executive committee members had the votes of their federations, meaning out of 21 NOCK affiliates, seven federations automatically voted with the incumbents, leaving their opponents with a paltry 13 votes against 20.
The NOCK president has also been stripped off the casting vote powers in case of a tie between candidates during the elections.
In 2005, NOCK chairman Kipchoge Keino tilted the balance in favour of the incumbent treasurer Fridah Shiroya after tying with then Special Olympic of Kenya (SOK) chief executive Milka Omenda by exercising his casting vote powers.
The members rejected a recommendation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of granting two athletes representatives, five times World cross country champion Paul Tergat and four time Boston marathon champion Catherine Ndereba together with the women’s representative the world 20, 25 and 30km Tegla Loroupe to vote.
In the new draft by IOC, it had recommended striping NEC members voting rights but granted them to two athletes representatives and woman representative serving in the executive.
“We felt that it was not fair to grant other members a special status as we are all equal,” said NOCK first vice chairman Ben Ekumbo while addressing press.
The draft constitution will be sent to the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday (January 16th) for approval.
After the draft has been approved, NOCK will convene a Special General Meeting (SGM) to adopt it.
Ekumbo said the NOCK elections will be held by March 31st in accordance with the roadmap by IOC.
The meeting agreed to admit non Olympics sporting federations but are part of the disciplines in the Commonwealth Games.
However, they will not have voting rights in the forthcoming NOCK polls but will be eligible to vote after the 2020 Olympic Games to be hosted in Tokyo, Japan.