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Football Kenya Federation Electoral Board chair Kentice Tikolo addressing a briefing on the new electoral roadmap on Tuesday. PHOTO/FKF

Football

Will Kenya finally hold long-awaited football elections?

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Electoral Board has released guidelines for the Federation Polls which will be conducted for a third time after being twice cancelled by the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT).

The board on Tuesday unveiled the roadmap that will see national elections conducted on October 17, perhaps putting to an end the circus that has seen the polls go in circles with countless rounds of litigation.

“Football is a members club and FIFA is aware of this exercise. I have not received any letter from a member asking me not to proceed to hold elections,” Board chair Kentice Tikolo said as she unveiled the roadmap for the new polls.

According to the roadmap, county elections will be held on September 19, just shy below a month before the national polls are held where elections for the President and National Executive Committee members will be held.

A communique from FIFA sent on August 5 to FKF CEO Barry Otieno directed the Federation to come up with a new road map and report back on the same.

“Given the present circumstances, we are of the view that FKF elections shall be organised as soon as the situation permits and in line with safety precautions implemented by the relevant Kenyan authorities,” a letter signed by FIFA’s Chief Member Association Officer Veron Mosengo-Omba read.

It adds; “For the sake of good order and to guarantee a peaceful context, we encourage FKF to start as a whole the electoral process (i.e. from branches to national level) in accordance with FKF statutes, and electoral code currently into force, and/or the FIFA statutes/guidelines where required or applicable.”

In March, the SDT nullified the second attempt of polls by the Federation, citing a party of the eligibility rules that was contested as not in the spirit and letter of the constitution as it locked out several members.

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When the second round of polls was cancelled, the federation had already held county elections and had vowed that they will not repeat the same when the new dates are announced. However, as per FIFA directive the polls will start afresh.

The polls were cancelled for the first time last year when several issues were picked out including the lack of public participation including the formulation of the board as well as the rules governing the elections.

The Federation was tasked to do a repeat exercise, one which they did and the new eligibility rules as well as the board were passed at the Annual general Meeting.

With the Tribunal giving a thumbs up to the entire process, the eligibility rules for presidential candidates were questioned as not giving a fair platform to others hence the elections halted.

The Tribunal through chair John Ohaga organized a stakeholders’ meeting to chart the way forward, but the Federation insisted they will only wait for word from FIFA and announce the way forward from there.

Per the new guidelines released by Tikolo’s team, the eligibility rules have been tweaked to fit FIFA statues. For the president and vice president’s seat, every candidate must;

  1. a) Have at least five endorsements from any of the FKF Members
  2. b) A candidate must have played an active role in football either as a player or an official in two of the last five years.
  3. c) A candidate Must meet chapter six of the 2010 Kenyan constitution
  4. d) A candidate must be a Kenyan Citizen

A section of candidates who have shown interest in the top seat have already expressed reservations at the new roadmap, but the Federation has insisted they will go on with the process.

With the country still monitoring on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, the modalities for the elections have not yet been finalized.

“The Electoral Board in consultation with FKF and FIFA will continue to explore the safest options for conducting the said elections, including the possibility of delegates voting virtually, should the COVID-19 situation in the country deteriorate in the coming weeks,” the board said.

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