Pat McQuaid stands behind Malaysian federation’s attempt to change UCI election process
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pat McQuaid stands behind Malaysian federation’s attempt to change UCI election process

by Ben Atkins at 10:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
“No one has changed the rules. No one has broken the rules,” says presidential incumbent

pat mcquaid

International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid has once again come out swinging in reaction to election rival Brian Cookson’s comments about the proposed changes to the process of choosing the sport’s next leader. Rather than something that “smacks of attempted dictatorship” - as the Englishman described the proposal from the Malaysian federation to allow a candidate to be nominated by any two national federations - McQuaid claims that everything is quite above board, and is a reflection of his own successes in growing the sport outside its traditional base.

“No one has changed the rules. No one has broken the rules,” McQuaid claims in a statement made via his publicist. “I have received enormous support from federations around the world urging me to stand for re-election and expressing their hope that I will continue on as UCI President. These nominations are a testament to that.

"Morocco [one of the nations to have backed McQuaid’s candidature in this latest development - ed] for example, is now African's number one cycling nation qualifying riders for the UCI World Championships and the Olympic Games,” McQuaid continues. “I have witnessed the growth of cycling in Morocco on my many visits there since becoming UCI President in 2005 and my membership of that federation goes back to early 2009.”

Emphasising the networking he has performed in his eight years as UCI president, McQuaid accuses Cookson - as British Cycling president - of having parochial outlook, and of having failed to garner the support of other federations in his own candidature; despite this being contrary to the UCI’s current Article 51 regulation, which states that a candidate must be nominated by his or her own federation.

This rule will only be changed if the proposal submitted by the Malaysian federation is passed by the UCI Congress on September 27th.

“There was nothing stopping Brian Cookson from showing an interest in cycling around the world over the years by joining other federations that would have allowed him to secure additional nominations when he decided to stand for President,” McQuaid claims, contradicting current the UCI regulation. “I respect that his horizons however do not stretch much further than British Cycling and that his home is where his heart and ambitions as a Presidential candidate lie.”

“This proposal should not come as a surprise to anyone on the UCI Management Committee,” he adds. “It has now been formally submitted in accordance with the rules and it is for Congress to decide whether it should be accepted or rejected. Unlike Mr. Cookson, I have enough confidence in my candidature to respect that.”

The UCI Congress will have to approve the Malaysian proposition by a two-thirds majority for it to be ratified as part of the UCI constitution and, until then, McQuaid’s place in the presidential election depends on his successfully getting past the legal challenge to his nomination by the Swiss federation.

Despite this, he claims that the fact that he has been made a member of the Malaysian, Thai and Moroccan federations will be enough to secure his candidature.

“Whatever the decision of Congress it will not change the fact that I have three valid nominations to stand as a candidate for re-election,” he claims. “While Brian Cookson and his commercial supporters may wish otherwise I am pleased to declare that he will face an election in September and that they can not escape that reality.”

Another question mark over the validity of McQuaid’s latest nominations is one of timing, since the deadline for candidates is set as 90 days before the UCI Congress. If these latest nominations have only been made in recent days they will have missed this deadline and so, under current regulations, would be invalid.

Only if the Malaysian federation’s proposal is ratified will they become valid.

Finally, McQuaid attempts to turn Cookson’s words on himself, citing the Englishman’s claim that he looked forward to a fair democratic contest to decide the UCI president for the next four years.

"Democratic institutions become stronger by having leadership contests, not weaker, so I welcome anybody who wants to stand as a candidate…” McQuaid quotes from a recent Cookson statement. “Let's have the debate - it's good, it's healthy and that's how democracy should be. I'm quite happy to be the only challenger, or one of several challengers.”

Despite seeking to change the rules of the election himself, McQuaid accuses the Englishman of being the one who is shying away from a fair fight.

"Brian should explain what has changed since he made that statement," McQuaid said.

One thing that has certainly not changed since Cookson made that statement is the UCI constitution that governs the way that a president is elected, and it won’t be until the UCI Congress sits in two months time.


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