UCI reveals two more presidential election rule change proposals that would secure McQuaid nomination
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Friday, September 13, 2013

UCI reveals two more presidential election rule change proposals that would secure McQuaid nomination

by Ben Atkins at 2:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Barbados and Turkey want incumbent president given the right to stand

pat mcquaidThe International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced that there have been two more amendments proposed to its constitution, and the way candidates for president can gain nomination, both of which would favour incumbent Pat McQuaid. There has already been a proposal submitted by the Malaysian federation, which seeks to change the wording of Article 51.1 of the constitution, to allow a candidate to gain nomination “either by the federation of the candidate (as is the current text) or by 2 federations other than the federation of the candidate (new clause)”.

The proposal also included a clause, which - should it be approved by the UCI congress - there would be an additional deadline, until August 30th, for federations to nominate candidates, although the Lithuanian federation presented a request on August 16th for this clause to be removed.

The two new proposals seek to go further, however.

The Barbados Cycling Union (BCU) was proposed an alternative version of the Malaysian proposal, in which it seeks “to preserve and safeguard democracy in the organisation,” according to its letter. The BCU has submitted a new version of Article 51.1, which reads: “The candidate for the Presidency shall be nominated either by the national federation of the candidate, or by two national federations other than the federation of the candidate. The incumbent President shall qualify on the basis of incumbency.”

In addition to the BCU, the Turkish Cycling Federation has also added a clause, which states that: “The incumbent president has the right to stand for re-election without nominations.”

According to the UCI press release, the “Turkish Federation also made it clear that its amendment, if accepted by Congress, should be applied to the current 2013 election.” This condition has already been included in the amendment submitted by the Malaysian Federation, so presumably the BCU didn’t feel the need to state it.

The UCI press release has also confirmed that the three amendments, from Malaysia, Barbados and Turkey, were received in time for the cut off date of August 30th for submissions to the 2013 UCI congress.

With McQuaid having had initial nominations withdrawn from both Ireland - his federation of birth, and under which he held his racing licence - and Switzerland - his federation of residence, the wording of Article 51.1 has been subject to fierce debate over the exact meaning of the words “federation of the candidate”. Previously it was assumed to mean the federation of the candidate’s birth but, after losing the Irish nomination, the McQuaid camp first interpreted it as applying to the federation of residence, since McQuaid has lived in Switzerland for several years.

After losing his Swiss nomination, however, the McQuaid camp has interpreted the wording of “federation of the candidate” to mean any federation that the candidate is a member of. With this interpretation, the federations of Morocco and Thailand announced that the Irishman was a member of their federations, and nominated him accordingly.

The matter has been far from settled, however, with several federations calling for the UCI to ask the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) to clarify Article 51.1, and therefore whether the Moroccan and Thai nominations are legal. This has, so far, been turned down but, should the interpretation be ruled invalid at any point, McQuaid would need the amendments to the constitution to be ratified.

McQuaid’s only opponent in the presidential race, current British Cycling (BC) president Brian Cookson has had no such complication in his nomination, since he has received the backing of BC.

For the three proposals to be ratified into the UCI constitution, however, they will have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the UCI congress. Only if this were to happen would the congress know for certain whether it would be choosing between McQuaid and Cookson, or just Cookson alone.

In addition to the announcement of the proposed constitutional amendments, the UCI has also revealed that “several federations expressed concern about external interference in the elections nominations process.” This presumably refers to the financing of the legal challenge to McQuaid’s Swiss nomination by Skins chairman Jaimie Fuller, who is one of the Irishman’s most vocal critics.

According to the UCI: “Federations highlighted that under Article 6.4 of the UCI Constitution, national federations must remain autonomous and resist financial and political pressure being put upon them, and that the Constitution also obliges federations to report any interference, or pressure, being put on them. The Federations of Barbados and Turkey made it clear in their letters that it was this concern that prompted their two amendments.”


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