Term limit for presidents as TTCB passes new constitution

TTCB president Azim Bassarath. Photo by Nicholas Bhajan
TTCB president Azim Bassarath. Photo by Nicholas Bhajan

THE TT Cricket Board (TTCB) has a new constitution.

It was passed on Saturday at a meeting between members of the TTCB. At the meeting, it was also confirmed that the next elections will be held on October 30.

Over 30 people voted for the new constitution and one abstained.

Newsday spoke to TTCB member Manohar Ramsaran and another member. The pair confirmed some of the changes that have been made.

Ramsaran said, “The meeting was really called to pass the new constitution…it was passed.”

One change is that the term of the president has been extended from three to four years.

Also, the president cannot be at the helm for more than two consecutive terms.

However, a president can serve again after being out of office for one four-year term.

Another change to the constitution is that someone can only be nominated for one post and must be nominated two weeks before the elections.

It was also agreed that an elections committee will oversee the elections.

Ramsaran is challenging the board to get the public more involved as cricket is for the benefit of the entire public.

“At an executive meeting when we adopted the (new) constitution, one of the things we agreed upon is that the cricket fraternity or the benefactors will be asked to submit comments. Nobody asked anybody to submit comments, except Zaheer Ali heard about the meeting and he submitted his comments, and he was the only man who submitted comments, and it was ignored totally.”

Ali, a former national cricketer who is now an attorney, sent a letter to TTCB members on Saturday before the meeting addressing his concerns about the proposed amendments to the constitution. Ali said this was in an effort to have more transparency and accountability in the sport moving forward.

Former national cricketer Zaheer Ali

He said, “As a son and brother of the cricketing fraternity and an advocate for legislative and constitutional reform through the proper protocols and processes intended for transparency, accountability and the good governance of TT Cricket, I acknowledge the move for constitutional reform. However, after reviewing the proposed constitutional amendments 2021, it is my humble view that (they) do not promote the objects of the TTCB constitution or accountability, transparency and good governance which is worrying and defeats the purpose of reform.”

Ali believes there should be more limits on presidents and officers of the board.

“The provision that the president shall not serve for more than two consecutive terms should also include that the president shall not be eligible to serve in any position in the TTCB executive unless a term has passed. Additionally, it should be extended to the six (elected) officers to avoid a revolving TTCB executive and to promote transparency and enhance the governance capability of the board.”

Ali said the election committee should be confirmed amonth before elections and should get the approval of the board.

“The appointment of the election committee should be made at least one month prior to the date of the intended election and the appointment of the election committee should be subject to the affirmative resolution of the board to promote fairness.”

Another point that Ali raised to avoid a conflict of interest is people should not hold positions in the TTCB executive and other key positions in local cricket.

He said, “Persons elected to the TTCB executive (officers/executive members) should not hold executive office in any zonal council, affiliate, minor league or club to avoid conflict of interest and to preserve their independence at the TTCB executive level in keeping with established practice since 1977 and to promote transparency, accountability and good governance.”

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