Accra, June 18, GNA - General Lassana Palenfo, (Rtd) from Cote d'Ivoire was on Saturday elected President of the Association of National Olympics Committees of Africa (ANOCA) when his opponent for the second round of elections, Alhaji Dandeh-Njie from the Gambia withdrew from the contest.
General Palenfo polled 24 votes out of a total of 51 votes, in the first round, falling just short of the 50+1 per cent needed to avoid a run off.
During the first round of voting for the Presidency, Alhaji Dandeh-Njie, President of the Gambian Olympic Committee, who came a distant second with 16 votes decided not to contest the run off. Alhaji Njie said his decision to step down was in the spirit of sportsmanship and the Olympics spirit.
In the same race for the Presidency, General Zoumaro Gnofame (Rtd) from Togo and one of the favourites to win, came a distant third polling five votes, whilst two other candidates, Col. Kalkaba Malboum from Cameroun and Alpha Ibrahim Diallo, the sitting President of ANOCA from Guinea withdrew.
In his maiden speech to the ANOCA General Assembly during the closing ceremony, General Lassana Palenfo, who doubles as the president of the Ivorian Olympic Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said he his personal ambition for ANOCA is to find solutions to the numerous problems facing sports on the continent.
He vowed to run a transparent ANOCA that would revive sports on the continent.
General Palenfo said the newly elected body would soon start work to promote the development of sports on the continent. In other positions vied for in the elections, Mustapha Barref from Algeria was elected unchallenged to the position of First Vice-President.
His opponents, Sam Ramsamy from South Africa and Mrs Dagmawit Girmay from Ethiopia both pulled out of the running before the elections to give him the position.
Mr Barref succeeds General Gnofame, who made an unsuccessful bid for the ANOCA presidency.
The Francophone domination of the ANOCA Executives continued when Moussa Aggrey from Chad won the Second Vice-President slot. He polled 32 of the 49 votes cast leaving his opponent, Mrs Dagmawit Girmay from Ethiopia in a distant second with 17 votes. Mamadou Talata from Niger, who had earlier withdrawn his candidature for the position of Second Vice-President also benefited from a similar pull-out in the race for Third Vice-President when Mrs Agnes Tjongarero from Namibia stepped down for him to run un-opposed. The horse-trading among the candidates continued when Mrs Agnes Tjongarero was allowed to take the position of the Fourth Vice-President, also un-opposed.
Mr Gustavo Dias Vaz Da Conceicao from Angola broke the Francophone domination in the elections when he won the slot for General Secretary.
He polled 33 votes to beat the incumbent, Acting General Secretary, Raymond Ibata from Congo, who came second with 18 votes. The post of Treasury went to Patrick Chamunda from Zambia, who also stood unopposed when his opponents, Habu Ahmed Gumel from Nigeria and Ben Ali Ibrahim from the Comoros Islands withdrew.
The seven elected members in addition to nine other members of the members who will form the ANOCA Executive Body are to run the Association for the next four years till the next General Assembly.