McQuaid vs Cookson: Makarov threatens legal action over Malaysian proposal to modify Article 51 of UCI Constitution
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Thursday, August 1, 2013

McQuaid vs Cookson: Makarov threatens legal action over Malaysian proposal to modify Article 51 of UCI Constitution

by VeloNation Press at 1:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
“The only person who will take advantage of an ‘anticipated’ modification of Article 51 of the UCI Constitution is undoubtedly…the candidate Pat McQuaid”

Pat McQuaidReacting to Monday’s announcement that the Malaysian federation will aim to have Article 51 amended at the UCI congress in September and thus enable any two federations to nominate a candidate for the presidential election, UCI management committee member Igor Makarov has said that he will fight the action in the courts if necessary.

The Russian is opposed to the notion of Pat McQuaid securing a third term in office and believes that the proposal looks like it is designed to further his chances of being re-elected.

McQuaid’s endorsement by the Irish federation Cycling Ireland was rescinded after its member voted and declared their opposition, while his nomination by Swiss Cycling is under legal appeal.

He sent a letter to McQuaid and UCI general director Christophe Hubschmid, which was obtained by the Telegraph.

“I take the opportunity of this letter to inform you that should this unlawful process be maintained, I already intend to challenge, by all legal means, any decision taken by the UCI Congress in this respect and any other infringements to the UCI constitution,” he said.

“I am astonished that the management committee members, despite being vested with the most extensive powers as regards the management of the UCI as per the constitution and regulations, have not been informed nor consulted regarding such modification of the electoral process.”

In addition to unveiling the Malaysian federation’s proposal, the UCI said on Monday that McQuaid had been nominated by both the Moroccan and the Thai federations. He told the Today programme on RTE Radio yesterday that he believed either of these would be enough to enable him to go forward, saying that he didn’t believe the change to Article 51 was even necessary to avail of that backing.

According to Article 51, ‘the candidates for the presidency shall be nominated by the federation of the candidate.’

This has interpreted as meaning the home federation of the candidate; earlier this year, McQuaid pointed out that he had lived for several years in Switzerland, in what appeared to be justification for seeking Swiss nomination after questions were raised about Cycling Ireland’s endorsement.

However he contested the notion yesterday that the federation in question is limited to the native organization of the candidate’s country. “The federation of the candidate is the federation of which the candidate is a member,” he said, adding that he was the member of ‘six or seven’ federations and felt that he could draw on the nomination of any of those.

“You have no connection with Morocco, you have umpteen connections with Ireland. So therefore surely, morally, Ireland is the federation of the candidate in this case…” said the interviewer Myle Dungan, contesting McQuaid’s interpretation of the regulations.

“You can talk about morally all you want. I am talking about the rules. I am not breaking any rules,” he answered.

Makarov’s letter today makes clear that he disagrees with McQuaid’s interpretation. “I will always be opposed to any modification that aims to circumvent the democratic principles and to favour one or several individuals to the detriment of the whole cycling community,” he said.

“The only person who will take advantage of an ‘anticipated’ modification of Article 51 of the UCI Constitution is undoubtedly, exclusively, the candidate Pat McQuaid.”

McQuaid has historical links with Malaysia, helping to set up the Tour de Langkawi, the country’s top-ranked race. However he denied asking that federation for its help.

If Makarov were to be successful in blocking the proposed change to Article 51 and also the Moroccan and Thai nominations, McQuaid would have to rely exclusively on the support of Swiss Cycling.

In that case, if the related court hearing on August 22nd were to go against him, Cookson would become the sole candidate and would automatically become president.


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