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AIBA Election Committee approves seven-candidate field for Presidential election

International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) Election Committee has confirmed all seven candidates for the Presidential election have been approved to stand at the virtual Congress on December 12 and 13.

The packed field includes Asian Boxing Confederation President Anas Al Otaiba from the United Arab Emirates, Russian Boxing Federation secretary-general Umar Kremlev and Azerbaijan’s Suleyman Mikayilov.

AIBA’s Interim President Mohamed Moustahsane, who is also President of the African Boxing Confederation, was a surprise last-minute candidate after meeting the November 2 deadline for nominations.

read also:AIBA Presidential candidate linked to potential election rule breach 

The list of candidates is completed by Dominican Republic’s Domingo Solano, Germany’s Ramie Al-Masri and Boris van der Vorst, President of the Dutch Boxing Federation.

insidethegames has seen the confirmed candidate list today.

The Election Committee includes AIBA’s Ethics Commission chair Bernhard Welten and Disciplinary Commission chair Francois Strydom.

Australia’s Catherine Ordway completes the panel.

“During the period 3 to 11 November 2020 and by way of electronic communication, the AIBA Election Committee reviewed the nominations and applications received for the position of AIBA President, made the necessary enquiries and deliberated in accordance with the AIBA statutes and bylaws, as well as the AIBA electoral procedures as set out in the guidelines for the Presidential election, as approved by the AIBA Executive Committee on September 30, 2020,” Welten wrote.

The Election Committee said it certifies that the individuals “each meet the criteria of eligibility in accordance with article 35 AIBA statues” and permits the candidates to stand in the election.

The build-up to the election has seen disputes emerge.

insidethegames revealed last week that Moustahsane had been accused of “manipulating” the statutes after he submitted a last-minute bid for the top job on a permanent basis.

Moustahsane is already in breach of the AIBA statutes, having been supposed to organise an election to choose a permanent President within one year of replacing Gafur Rakhimov on a temporary basis in March 2019.

However, AIBA was unable to organise a vote in time because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The eligibility of voting National Federations has also been an issue.

Ethical concerns were raised regarding an offer made by the Dominican Republic Boxing Federation (FEDOBOXA) to pay the membership fees of nine countries so they could vote at the Congress.

The FEDOBOXA – which nominated Solano for President – transferred a total of $4,800 (£3,700/€4,000) to the Americas Boxing Confederation (AMBC) to cover the dues of nine nations – Saint Maarten, The Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, Virgin Islands, Dominica, Anguilla, Bermuda, Haiti and Suriname.

AMBC President Osvaldo Bisbal reported the “disturbing case” of the payment in a letter to the heads of the AIBA Disciplinary and Ethics Commissions.

All nine countries are absent from the list of members eligible to vote in the election.

AIBA announced on Monday (November 9) that 143 of its 200 members – 71.5 percent – would be eligible to cast their choice in the election.

This means more than a quarter of the AIBA members will be unable to vote, with 57 ruled ineligible.

Bisbal also accused Moustahsane of “manipulating the eligibility” of the federations in Colombia and Venezuela, who have been granted an extension to pay their membership fees.

Colombia and Venezuela have not been included on the list of eligible countries, however.

An absolute majority is required for candidates to win the AIBA Presidency, with the official who receives the lowest number of votes being eliminated in each round until there are two left.

AIBA has been without a permanent President since Rakhimov’s resignation last March.

The election is seen as crucial for the organisation, as it seeks to overturn the suspension of its recognition from the International Olympic Committee.

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