QUARDU GBONI MANDINGO ASSOCIATION IN THE AMERICAS (QGMAA)
2012 ELECTIONS GUIDELINES
Whereas, the general membership of the Quardu-Gboni Mandingo Association in the Americas (QGMAA), hereinafter interchangeably referred to as the “Association” or “QGMAA”, believes that the Association should be led by a corps of officers that has the best interest of the Association at heart;
Whereas, the membership of the Association believes that the best way of selecting its corps of officers is through a democratic elections process;
Whereas, this Elections Commission, hereinafter referred to as the “Commission”, was constituted by the president of the Association with the advice and consent of the Board of Directors, hereinafter referred to as the “Board”, for the sole purpose of conducting a free, fair, and impartial election of the officers of the Association;
Now, therefore, the Commission, acting in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of Association, hereby stipulates the following elections guidelines for the purpose of guiding members of the Association in exercising their franchise.
Article 1: Decision-making
All decisions of the Commission shall be made at official meetings of the five-member commission. The presence of any three members of the Commission at a meeting shall constitute a quorum; and all decisions shall be made by a simple majority of the number of commissioners present. The mode of meetings shall either be face-to-face or via teleconferen
Article 2: Elective Positions
Section 1: The Commission shall conduct elections for the following five elective executive positions of the Association:
b) Vice President
c) General Secretary
Section 2: The Commission shall also conduct elections for members of the Board of Directors of the Association.
Section 3: The Commission shall be responsible for planning and conducting all by-elections.
Article 3: Requirements for Prospective Candidates
Section1: General Requirements:
In order to be certified by the Commission, each prospective candidate shall have to satisfy the following general requirements:
a) Be a regular and due-paying member of the Association;
b) Be a reputable member of the Association as well as the Liberian community in theAmericas;
c) Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) hereinafter referred to as “LOI”, to the Commission with a Resume attached including references with complete contact information. The LOI and resume shall be submitted through regular mail or via email but must be written in MS Word application and sent as an attachment;
d) Submit two passport-size photos along with the LOI packet. These shall also be sent through the same means as the LOI and Resume;
e) Pay the required non-refundable application fees.
Section 2: Specific Requirements on Executive Positions:
a) A candidate for the position of President of the Association shall be at least 25 years of age and must have at least a High School Diploma. He or she shall have been up-to-date with his or her due payments and being a member of the Association for at least one year;
b) A candidate for the position of Vice President shall be at least 25 years of age and must have at least a High School Diploma. He or she shall have been up-to-date with his or her due payments and being a member of the Association for at least one year;
c) Candidates for the positions of General Secretary, Treasurer, and Chaplain shall be at least 21 years of age and must have at least a high school diploma. Each candidate shall have been up-to-date with his or her due payments and being a member of the Association for at least one year;
d) A candidate for the Treasurer position must have at least a High School Diploma.
Specific Requirement on Board of Director’s Positions:
(a) A candidate for Board Chairmanship of the Association shall be at least 25 years of age, and must have at least a High School Diploma. He or she shall have been up-to-date with his or her due payments and being a member of the Association for at least one year
(b) A candidate for the Board of Director’s membership shall be at least 25 years of age and must have at least a High School Diploma. He or she shall have been up-to-date with his or her due payments and being a member of the Association for at least a year.
Article 4: Application Fees
Section 1: Application fees shall be as follows:
a) President: $100.00
b) Vice President: $75.00
c) Secretary-General: $50.00
d) Treasurer: $50.00
e) Chaplain: $50.00
Specific Requirement for the Board of Directors:
All members of the Board of Directors will be required to pay a non refundable fees of $75.00.
Section 2: Candidates shall pay all application and other fees levied by the Commission by money order made payable to Quardu-Gboni Mandingo Association in the Americas (QGMAA), and addressed to Mr. Mohammed Fofana (Chairman of QGMAA Elections Commission). The money order shall be hand-delivered or sent by regular mail and must reach the Commission before the end of the deadline for the submission of the LOI packet.
Section 3: All correspondences to the Commission shall be sent to the following address:
Mohammed Fofana, Chairman
QGMAA Elections Commission
10 Nuttman Street, # 49
Newark, NJ 07103
Communications may also be emailed to the Commission Chairman at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article 5: Deadlines for Application
Section 1: The deadline for the submission of all LOI packets shall be August 30, 2012 at 12 midnight.
Section 2: The Commission shall review all LOI packets from August 31, 2012 and shall certify and publish the names of qualified candidates on September 2, 2012
Article 6: Campaigning
Section 1: Official campaigning shall begin immediately upon the certification and publication of the names of the qualified candidates on September 2, 2012 and shall close on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 12:00 midnight.
Section 2: A debate amongst the presidential candidates and candidates for the Board of Director’s Chairman shall take place on Saturday, September 15, 2012 at the Wyndham Garden Inn, 45 Industrial Ave, Philadelphia PA, 19029. The elections will take place on Sunday, September 16, 2012.
Article 7: Eligible Voters
Section 1: Only regular members of the Association who are 18 years of age and above and are in good financial standing with the association shall be eligible to vote. Associate and honorary members of the Association are not eligible to vote.
Section 2: The Commission will determine voter’s eligibility from the membership roster compiled by the Membership Committee/ Secretariat of the Association.
Section 2: The commission shall publish the names of eligible voters via various reputable list- serves on Thursday, September 13, 2012.
Article 8: Voting
Section 1: Ballots:
a) The elections shall be conducted through a secret ballot system. The commission shall print and provide ballots for all elections.
b) All candidates shall be listed on one ballot with their photos. The candidate’s name shall be written directly beneath their photos and checkboxes shall be before the candidates’ names on the ballot.
c) A ballot shall be considered null and void if a voter marks two or more candidates for the same position.
Section 2: Opening of the Polls:
a) The polls shall open at10:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 16, 2012, at which time qualified voters shall begin casting their ballots.
b) Each candidate shall be represented at the polls by one representative duly authorized by said candidate.
c) The candidates shall submit the names of their representatives no later than9:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 16, 2012 and such representatives shall present a genuine photo ID card to the commissioners for verification purposes before they shall be allowed to represent their candidates at the polls.
d) The polls shall close at5:00 p.m. on Sunday September 16, 2012 and ballot counting shall begin immediately upon the closing of the polls. Counting of the ballots shall be done in the presence of the representatives of the candidates. E)
e) No commissioner or candidate representatives shall be allowed to use cell phones or any communication device during the ballot counting process. Violators shall be immediately ejected from the counting area.
Article 9: Elections Result
The results shall be tallied and the Chairman of the Elections Commission shall announce the winners at the start of the Convention Ball.
Article 10: Certification of Elected Officials
Certificates shall be issued to all the elected officials of the Association by the Commission onMonday, September 24, 2012.
Article 11: Challenging the Elections Results
Section 1: Dissatisfied candidates shall be allowed to officially protest the results of the election within 24 hours after the results have been announced. Such protest shall be in writing and filed with the Commission within the twenty-four hour period allowed.
Section 2: The Commission shall investigate the protest within 72 hours; and if the Commission finds merits in the protest, the affected candidate(s) shall be disqualified and a by-election shall be held at a later date to fill the vacancy or vacancies.
Section 3: Protests shall be for specific reasons (e.g. fraud, irregularities, and/or violations of stipulations of the Elections Guidelines) and shall not be against the entire electoral process.
These elections guidelines are strictly in accordance with the Constitution of the QGMAA and any provision(s) thereof that contravene any provision(s) of the Constitution shall be deemed not binding.
These guidelines shall come into force immediately upon the approval of the Board.
Respectfully submitted by the Elections Commission of the Quardu-Gboni Mandingo Association in the Americas (QGMAA) on this Thirteenth Day of August 2012.
Anthony V. Kesselly…………Member/Consultant