By Neto Baptiste
The electoral general meeting for the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) has been postponed until early next year.
This was revealed by president of the organisation and former national athlete Everton Cornelius, who said the decision was made after the body was forced to postpone the ratification of its proposed new constitution last week after members were unprepared to discuss the document for varying reasons.
“We had set a date for us to do the ratification of the constitution which should have been the 17th of November with the intentions of having the election just around the 14th of December the latest, but I sent the constitution out a month in advance of that date and when we called the meeting on the 17th, I realised 90 percent of the members did not even open the constitution to look at it. I realised we would have to make a second attempt at it. Another part of it is that a lot of the members were not financial and I don’t think you should be making decisions and changing a constitution with members who are not financial,” he said.
A former sprinter, Cornelius said the body will have no choice but to move forward with the vote based on the current constitution.
“We will be going forward with the election on the old constitution because I realise that it would be problematic. Nothing is really wrong with the old constitution because all we did in terms of the new one is just to add one and two things and give a better explanation on some areas in the old constitution. So, that being as it may, we just decided to let’s go forward with the old constitution and have the election as soon as possible next year,” he said.
The president revealed also that a decision was taken that only those members who would have participated in the last election will be allowed to bring their membership up to date ahead of the election. All others, he added, have been asked to reapply for membership.
“Anybody beyond the last election would have to reapply for membership and anybody who participated in the last election, they are asked to get themselves financially up to date with the association and that will be the core of the membership going forward in terms of the election. If we look at that list [from the last election] I would want to say that 70 percent of the people are already taken care of,” Cornelius said.
Cornelius has earmarked a date in December for the hosting of the election but said it hinged on the body’s ability to have the proposed constitution ratified. The association will look at a date in January for the staging of the AGM.