The 7th Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) Annual General Meeting (AGM) set for today has been deferred to Saturday March 28, 2020.
Chairman Sandis Tsaka said the reason for the deferral was to protect the integrity of the election process.
“The integrity of the election process is very important to ensure the legitimacy of the elected officials to hold office,” Tsaka said.
“The PNGRFL must at all cost protect the integrity of these processes to ensure transparency and good governance.
“The elections of the PNGRFL Board are held once every three years,” Tsaka said.
“Some serious issues have just come to light that pose serious risk to the integrity of the election process.”
He said the main issues for the deferral were due to reports received by the PNGRFL within the last 24 hours of a candidate banned by the PNGRFL Judiciary in 2006 from taking public office.
Questions were also raised around the legality of a seconder of a candidate-nominee when nominations closed two weeks ago has since been replaced by a new president.
“These issues need to be confirmed and addressed to ensure transparency in the election process,” Tsaka said.
Furthermore, the chairman said the eligibility of the 32 leagues attending were not fully certified in line with the PNGRFL affiliation requirements due to conflicting reports from the Confederates.
“The selection steering committee headed by PNGRFL CEO Reatau Rau will look into these issues and in consultation with our legal team clarify and confirm all is in order within the next three weeks before March 28, 2020,” Tsaka said.
He said the PNGRFL Board as per the Constitution has powers to convene and set dates for the AGM.
“The AGM must be held before the end of March each year therefore we have set Saturday March 28, 2020 at 10.00am at the Oil Search National Football Stadium,” Tsaka said.
Tsaka called a media conference at 11.20am with CEO Reatau Rau and flanked by POMRFL Chairman Dr James Naipao and Lae Rugby League president Adrian Chow for the announcement.
“I take this time to thank all our stakeholders for your understanding and patience,” Tsaka said.
“This is very important because in the past, questions around the legitimacy of PNGRFL Office Bearers led to the demise of the code from 2013 going backwards. We need to ensure the integrity of the processes are protected to ensure the issues of the past are not repeated in future.”
Dr Naipao supported the deferment to ensure all processes and guidelines are followed.
“I don’t want to see the code go down again,” he said.
“The game is at a level where the corporate sector are attracted to support and develop partnerships.
Naipao said the current PNGRFL Board has brought credibility to the game where we see the standards of players, officials and everyone of us involved raised to higher levels.
Chow said: “We must not compromise the confidence of all our stakeholders. Let’s do things in the interests of our stakeholders and everybody involved in the game and respect the processes in place.”
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