Friday, October 3, 2008

Walkout in North Rift as Hussein wins

Former Boston Marathon champion Moses Tanui walks out of of the North Rift AK election venue at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret on Friday. The group, led by Moses Kiptanui, who lost to Ibrahim Hussein, claimed the poll had been rigged. Photo JARED NYATAYA 

By PETER NG’ETICH

Ibrahim Hussein retained his position as North Rift Athletics Kenya (AK) chairman on Friday amid a walk out by some aspirants.

Former world steeplechase champion Moses Kiptanui and his camp comprising of former Boston Marathon champion Moses Tanui and 3,000 metres champion Daniel Komen criticised the elections as flawed and walked out of the election venue at the Kipchoge Keino Stadium with seven former seven athletes before the Sports Officer Jared Nambaka declared Hussein the winner.

Others who were elected were former steeplechase runner Patrick Sang (1st vice chairman), Andrew Rotich (2nd vice chairman), Joseph Chelimo (secretary), Major Rtd Michael Rotich (treasurer), Peter Etang (deputy treasurer) and William Tomno as the public relations officer.

Rigged elections
Komen’s name was missing from the list of those vying for a post leading to Kiptanui claiming that the current officials rigged the elections.

“The nomination papers were presented to the secretary early enough but they have been hidden so that some people can go unopposed,” he said.

He said athletics management in the country was doomed if it continued to be governed by the current constitution which was put in place in 1953.

Kiptanui said the current office bearers were weary of athletes ascending to top AK offices because they were going to expose the ills they do to upcoming athletes.

He said they were going to announce their cause of action soon with his team which had advocated for a change in constitution before the current elections were carried out.

Homecoming party

The North Rift held the provincial elections on Friday a day before other provinces because of Beijing Olympics homecoming party to be held on Saturday at the Kipchoge Stadium. Kiptanui is the organising chairman of the fete.

Addressing the press after Hussein defeated Kiptanui with 36 votes, he said he won the elections in a fair manner. He garnered 55 votes while Kiptanui got 19.

He said the walk out by Kiptanui’s team was a publicity stunt. He said nobody had hindered athletes to ascend to the top using the current constitution saying he was a former athlete himself but had been the chairman of the area in the last four years.

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