Cookson says transparency is needed for a democratic election, states full answers are required from McQuaid
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Friday, August 16, 2013

Cookson says transparency is needed for a democratic election, states full answers are required from McQuaid

by Shane Stokes at 8:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
“I want nothing more than an open and properly conducted democratic election and vote for the UCI presidency”

Brian CooksonResponding to today’s statement by Pat McQuaid faulting Brian Cookson and British Cycling for what he says are legal attempts to challenge his candidacy for September’s presidential elections, Cookson has said that clear answers are needed in relation to McQuaid’s bid to secure a third term.

McQuaid’s statement criticised what he said is a current a legal challenge by British Cycling, with McQuaid’s stated nomination by the Moroccan and Thai federations claimed to be one of the issues disputed.

McQuaid deemed such questioning to be “an outrageous suggestion.”

He demanded clarification from Cookson. “Brian must immediately make a statement on whether he believes that to be true and if he believes otherwise he has duty to ensure that this allegation is publicly withdrawn,” he stated.

“As the President of British Cycling, Brian Cookson must explain his decision to allow his federation - that is funding his campaign - to behave in this way and to use its considerable financial clout to employ lawyers to challenge issues in the election.”

He demanded that the delegates alone should decide the next president, and that legal efforts questioning his nomination should not be pursued.

Cookson’s response underlined the reasons why he felt clarification was crucial. “Sadly today we have seen yet another attempt by the existing UCI President, Pat McQuaid, to denigrate the current presidential election process,” he stated.

“I want nothing more than an open and properly conducted democratic election and vote for the UCI presidency. To suggest otherwise is nonsense.”

Rather than backing down on the questions about McQuaid’s nomination, he reaffirmed an intention to ensure that there were no doubts about the process.

“It is also true that I, and many in our sport, have legitimate and growing concerns about the retrospective rule bending and attempted manipulation that is taking place at present. In my view it is therefore absolutely correct that British Cycling and others have raised concerns regarding proposed rule changes which have a direct impact on the election process now under way. These concerns need to be addressed.

"Far from ducking these issues, for the good of cycling and the reputation of the UCI, it is critical that openness and transparency guide our procedures and not desperate manoeuvres and outbursts by Mr McQuaid.”

Cookson is McQuaid’s sole rival for the UCI presidential election, which will take place at the annual Congress in Italy on September 27th.

He was proposed by British Cycling. McQuaid was at first nominated by Cycling Ireland, but that backing was rescinded after it emerged that proper procedures were not followed. CI’s members then voted 91-74 against backing him in an extraordinary general meeting held on June 15th.

McQuaid secured nomination from Swiss Cycling but this has been legally challenged by three general members of the federation, namely Swiss national coach Kurt Buergi, former Swiss Cycling board member Mattia Galli and the ex-pro Patrick Calcagni.

The clothing company Skins, which has been critical of McQuaid’s presidency, is backing that legal challenge and the case will be heard by a three member tribunal on August 22nd.

McQuaid claims he also has the support of the Moroccan and Thai federations and that his nomination is therefore secure, even if Swiss Cycling loses the legal case.

Two questions arise about this, however. The first is why there was no public mention of those federations backing him prior to a UCI statement on July 29th.

The second is if they are actually able to do so, with many believing that the wording of Article 51 of the UCI’s regulations infers that a candidate’s own [ie ‘home’] federation is the one which should nominate him or her.

That wording states: ‘the candidates for the presidency shall be nominated by the federation [not 'a' federation - ed.] of the candidate.’

Also see: McQuaid wants Cookson and British Cycling to drop possible legal action in relation to process of UCI Presidential election


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