Tuesday 18 May 2021
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newtimes - 1 month ago

Elections for new Olympic Committee set for May 8

The Rwanda National Olympic Committee (RNOSC) has made a U-turn on election dates after a number of sports federations protested against holding the elections after the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. The elections were expected to take place on October 9 but an Extraordinary General Assembly held on Saturday, April 17 agreed that the elections for the new Olympic Committee will instead take place on May 8. The change of elections date follows a recent resignation of former president Valens Munyabagisha who stepped down from his position on April 6. When the Olympic Committee held an Ordinary General Assembly on April 3, different federations were divided over whether elections would happen before or after the upcoming Olympic Games slated in Tokyo, Japan in July. The General Assembly proposed provisional elections to take place either on May 15 (before the Olympic Games) or October 9 (after Olympic Games) but the latter was approved in favor of member federations who supported the idea of holding elections after the Tokyo 2020 Games. The decision, which granted the Olympic Committee led by Munyabagisha to remain in charge until August, did not impress a big number of member sports federations who wanted the committee to step aside after their term expired in March. “I was one of those who left earlier before the Ordinary General Assembly concluded because I was not happy with the decision to hold elections after the Olympic Games because I think it was against the provisions of the International Olympic Committee’s rules and regulations,” explained Jean Baptiste Murema, the President of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC). Remaining in office till August seemed to be a big win for the current Olympic Committee, although its leadership knew a big number of federations were not committed to working with it during their extension. But Felicite Rwemalika, who took over the interim role as the Olympic Committee’s president after Munyabagisha’s resignation, expressed her concerns that she was not ready to serve a sports body whose members are heading opposite paths. While chairing the extraordinary General Assembly, Rwemalika welcomed ideas from member sports federations as she wanted to bring back a good environment among them. Federations found themselves on the same page after they agreed to move election for the new Executive Committee before the Olympic Games. “I could see some federations’ representatives looking unhappy when the extraordinary assembly began but I am happy everybody goes home smiling and happy because they are satisfied with the assembly’s resolutions,” Rwemalika said. “We didn’t want to see some members unhappy nor do we want to lose any of the members just because they are not happy. After the resignation of the Olympic Committee’s president, we had to come back and hear from them to make sure that we make decisions that everyone is happy for,” she added. According to the new elections calendar, aspirants will submit their candidacy from April 24-30. Approved candidates will be announced on April 30 before they campaign for votes from May 1-7.

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