By Lamin Cham
The Gambia Football Federation GFF has expanded it electoral vote list to 73 at its recent annual general meeting when the amendments were passed.
According to the GFF, Article 23 was amended to increase the number of delegates/votes of Regional Football Associations and Allied Associations to 4 and 3 respectively. This was sequel to the decision of last year’s AGM to increase the number of teams in the First and Second Divisions to 14 and 16 teams respectively effective in 2018/19 League Season.
In order to create a balance in voting power of members, the 2016 AGM tasked a three man Task Force to work out a formula for the increment based on principle of proportionality. As a result, the first and second division clubs shall henceforth have a total of 30 votes, representing 41.10 percent of the total votes while the allied associations shall now have 15 votes, representing 20.55 percent and the regional football associations shall now have 28 votes, representing 38.36 percent of the total votes; increasing the Total Number of votes to 73. Last night The Standard contacted many football brains over the matter while most welcome the changes as fair to all, others raised concern about the voting process.
Lamin Bojang, an associate member of one of the clubs said the voting process should be revisited in order to ensure transparency and divergence of choices even among the delegates from the same club or region.
“The constitution says each delegate from any region or club or affiliate association has a voting right but when they go to the election hall only one person vote for the entire club, region or association. This is wrong as it means block voting which is not transparent. Each delegate in the list should be given a ballot to cast the way he or she wants because sometimes people from the same club, region association may not support the same candidate,” he said.
He said the tradition of block voting is wrong. “That method is normally encouraged by the powers that be so that they can influence the entire clubs choice through the delegate chosen to vote.. This is wrong and is in fact disenfranchising the delegates by reducing their powers to only one vote that is counted as 3 or 4 votes in favour of the candidate who received it. The delegate must not allow himself or herself to be used like this when the constitution gives them their own separate votes. We know that at Fifa and Caf they do block voting but at those bodies congress each member country has just one vote, so it makes sense that only one man cast it,” he concluded.