Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall said any decision by the Guyana Cricket Board to proceed with elections as recently announced will be illegal if they are held outside of the procedures laid down in the Cricket Administration Act.
In addition, Nandlall said if the GCB officials act in any manner contrary to the provisions of that Act, their actions and consequently those elections will be “illegal, unlawful, null and void, and of no effect”.
2015 elections on Sunday would result in it being declared illegal, when one considers the statutes contained in the recently passed Cricket Administration Act 2014. The provisions contained in the Act are clear and empower only the Sport Minister, following consultations with specified bodies and entities, to set the date for the first elections of core cricketing boards and institutions.
But the GCB appears bent on conducting the elections despite the various provisions within the law.
“The elections would be illegal, unlawful, null and void and of no effect,” Nandlall said. The AG maintained during the exclusive interview with Guyana Times Sport on Saturday that the Guyana Cricket Administration Act is part of the laws of Guyana and no one is authorized and will be permitted to act in contravention of any of the country’s laws.
“And that is a piece of legislation that was supported by the over 80 per cent of the legislators in the National Assembly,” he reminded, as he pointed to the popularity of the hallmark legislation which was assented to after much debate and consultation.
The Legal Affairs Minister said that any attempt by the GCB to proceed with the elections would see “chaos” and “factionalism” returning to cricket which would not augur well for the development of the sport and the administration of the game in Guyana.
“It will result in chaos, but fortunately we are in a position now where there is a law that governs the situation. Before this law was enacted, there was no statute governing the administration of the game. That position has changed and those who wish to act contrary to law will be doing so at their peril,” the Minister advised.
However, GCB appears poised to proceed with the elections as planned. Back in December of 2014, the GCB Secretary had sent out a notice stating that the Board will be holding its elections for office bearers on January 25 at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) pavilion. At this stage, it is unclear if the incumbent Drubahadur will seek a second term in office.
Based on the Cricket Administration Act 2014 (Schedule 1, Section 7), the “elections to the Executive Committee of the GCB in respect of the first elections shall be held in accordance with Section 17 on the date appointed in writing by the Minister acting in consultation with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)”.
Part VII, Section 17 of the Act states that “the Minister, after meaningful consultation with the WICB, shall be responsible for the appointment of a Cricket Ombudsman, who shall be responsible for the verification of the Register of Clubs and for performing the functions of Returning Officer for the first elections of the membership of the GCB”.
According to the Act, the “members of the Board shall be the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB), the Demerara Cricket Board (DCB) and the Essequibo Cricket Board (ECB), (herein referred to as Member Boards or County Boards), and such other cricketing bodies as may hereafter be admitted to membership by the Board as non-voting Associate Members or Honorary Members. The BCB, DCB and ECB shall be responsible for cricket in their respective geographical areas subject to the overriding authority of the GCB”.
New GCB elections under the Act will bring an end to the longstanding impasse between the Board and the Government. The issue dates back to the contentious elections in July 2011.
The elections were boycotted by some of the Board’s constituent members, one of which, the BCB, took the GCB to court, claiming the new administration was not properly established.