Praia, Cape Verde - Filomena Fortes is the new president of the Cape Verdean Olympic Committee, having unseated incumbent Franklin Palma, who was at the helm of the organization for the past 12 years.
In an anxiously awaited election held in the premises of the country’s Olympic committee, Filomena Fortes, former president of the Cape Verdean Handball Federation, won by a single vote (10-9).
Those who cast the vote included the Federations of athletics, handball, basketball, boxing, football, karate, tennis, volleyball, the National Gymnastics Commission and a representative of Olympic athletes.
Also present at the election was the President of the Olympic Committee of Sao Tome and Principe, Joao Manuel Alegre Afonso, as an observer of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) .
Alegre Afonso, who also holds the position of Second Vice-President of the Association of African National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), told the Cape Verdean news agency (Inforpress) that the Cape Verde Olympic Committee (COC) held the election after an ultimatum from IOC.
'The previous exevutive did not meet clearly defined standards stipulating that every four years elections should be held and each year, a meeting should be held with all members to provide information about the use of funds made available to Olympic committees,' he said.
None of this was done in Cape Verde and as a result, since 2006, the COC has not held an election,' he said.
The new executive for the Cape Verdean Olympic Committee should have been elected since last year.
The vote was originally scheduled for 28 December, but was postponed to 4 January after both candidates agreed to give time to the meeting to assess the report and accounts of the outgoing executive.
The new president promised a more open, pro-active COC which would be more involved in the work.