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SSBF election outcome objected

By: Charles Lotara

The outcome of South Sudan Basketball Federation (SSBF) elections held last week has been objected and declared null and void after the emergence of concerns over irregularities and inconsistencies in the electoral process.

The election was conducted on the 24th of November 2019 and Luol Deng was announced to have won the elections and have become the new Chairperson of SSBF.

In a press statement extended to Juba Monitor, SSBF Vice President Lt Gen. Wilson Deng Kuoirot said the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, together with some staff from her Ministry were the direct supervisors of the election which was contrary to the rules and regulations of FIBA.

Kuoirot said the players-turned candidates conducted the elections under a locally promulgated and discriminatory sets of rules which they had enacted for three days.

“In these sets of rules they set an age limits to the contestants to be between 35-50 years old. They also enforced a fee of 150,000 SSP for the aspiring President, 100,000 SSP for the Vice and 50,000 for the Secretary General’s position.

“These conditions were meant to block out those who are financially unable to meet this criterion, these criteria do not have any legal grounds in whatever circumstances,” part of the statement read. 

Kuoirot said the general assembly was composed of hand-picked persons collected from the streets of Juba town.

“Among them were delegates of states that did not even have a basketball court or a playground. For example, Torit, Yambio, Yirol etc.,” he said adding that there were no dully assigned supervisors from the FIBA to oversee the elections though it was a legal requirement.

“There was no lawyer supervising the elections, this is because the ones who were appointed by the Minister resigned upon discovering that the process was not procedural, tribal and flawed,” he fumed

He said subsequent chair of the so-called elections committee was an unprofessional and incompetent Police officer who has no knowledge about law just because he is not a graduate from Police College.

Deng who was elected as a new SSBF chairperson was allegedly not present during the elections and was represented by his brother Deng Aldo, a practice Kuoirot said was unlawful according to the international election laws as there is no election by proxy. 

Kuoroit said Deng who claimed to be the new SSBF Chair is a British Citizen and is currently the Captain of the British National Basketball Team, unless South Sudan has become a British Protectorate otherwise.

Deng has retired from NBA, but he is still an active player in the British Basketball team- hence, he does not qualify to head any Federation anywhere according to Kuoroit.

The active players who conspired against the legitimate SSBF and who have become the false members of the so called new SSBF are all from one tribe. 

Kuoroit said the Ministerial Order and the subsequent flawed elections conducted was uncalled for as they were made at a time when the outgoing SSBF office had planned to call for elections in October- after liaising with FIBA.

“The order and elections were therefore, vitiated by ulterior motives that was unprecedented in the Basketball history,” he said. 

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