NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 19 – The ascendancy of five-time World Cross Country champion Paul Tergat to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) chairmanship was jolted after the incumbent Kipchoge Keino made a U-turn to join the race.
Keino, who had earlier opted out of the race, declared that he was in the race and will collect the nominations forms at the NOCK elections Electoral Board the Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) to defend his seat.
“I will collect my nomination papers at the CMD headquarters on Wednesday (September 20th) to join the race,” he said.
Tergat, a former World marathon record holder, was set to be elected unopposed as the new head of the troubled NOCK after incumbent Keino, who has been in charge for nearly 20 years, failed to secure a nomination.
The NOCK Electoral Board has set the deadline for submitting nomination papers by the close of business on Friday, September 22 before the polls to be held on September 29.
Keino had earlier picked the nominations forms and failed to return them for Tergat to be elected unopposed ahead of the initial NOCK elections which were to be held on May 5 but aborted.
The legend is a beneficiary of a resolution passed during the NOCK Extraordinary meeting held on September 5, which opened the doors for those who were interested in vying and had not submitted nomination papers for elections for the initial polls which were to be held on May 5.
After the resolution was passed Keino was coy about seeking for re-election by keeping people guessing about his intentions.
Keino made the declaration after attending a consultative meeting convened by CMD for aspirants and NOCK Executive Committee Members at the electoral body’s headquarters on Tuesday.
The meeting chaired by the electoral body’s chairman Omweri Angima agreed that all disputes and contentious issues will be addressed by the General Assembly plenary during NOCK’s elective Annual General Meeting to be held on September 29.
Federations with disputes and court cases were urged to resolve them before the election day to be allowed to participate in the polls.
However, if they will not have resolved them by then, their fate will be in the hands of the General Assembly plenary.
The electoral board said it was invoking NOCK’s constitution Article 76.6 which mandates it’s General Assembly to address electoral matters, rules and regulations.
The federations which are disputing are the Kenya Swimming Federation (KSF) which has two sets of names sent to NOCK as the officials mandated to attend the AGM and vote in the elections.
The other sporting federations which are wrangling with their cases having ended up in court are the Kenya Taekwondo Federation (KTF), Kenya Badminton Association (KTA), Kenya Amateur Cycling Association, Kenya Weightlifting Federation (KWF) and the Kenya Rowing and Canoeing Association.