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Turkey, Barbados push for McQuaid to stand as candidate on basis of incumbency

  • By Matthew Beaudin
  • Published Sep. 13, 2013
Federations from Barbados and Turkey are pushing for Pat McQuaid's right to stand for election on the basis of his incumbency alone. Photo: Graham Watson | www.grahamwatson.com

Should Pat McQuaid be allowed to run for a third term as UCI president without a traditional nomination on the basis that he’s already the president?

The federations of Barbados and Turkey seem to think so, and have added to a chorus of proposed rule changes that would allow McQuaid to stand for a third term without the backing of his home nation, Ireland.

The suggested change to the UCI Constitution that would allow McQuaid to seek a third term is garnering more attention, and may even see additional tweaks, seemingly to allow an incumbent president to run on the base of his or her incumbency alone.

According to the UCI press office, the Barbados Cycling Union submitted a letter to cycling’s world governing body on Aug. 27, piggybacking on the efforts of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation, which sought to change Article 51.1 of the UCI Constitution.

The thrust of the Malaysian proposal essentially amounted to a potential change in the way candidates are nominated for the UCI’s top post. Rather than be nominated by the candidate’s own federation (in McQuaid’s case, Ireland, which revoked its support of the incumbent) a candidate could be nominated by any two federations other than the candidate’s own. (Questions also exist over what, exactly, the “federation of the candidate” means in Article 51.1.)

The initial proposal also extended the deadline for federations to nominate candidates — in this instance, McQuaid — because the previous deadline has already lapsed. In the same press release announcing the proposal, the UCI confirmed that the Moroccan and Thai federations had each offered nominations for McQuaid. The Lithuanian National Federation, on Aug. 16, requested that clause be withdrawn from the proposal to change the nomination protocols.

And it doesn’t stop there. Two more federations have pushed for changes relating article 51.1, and both are sympathetic to McQuaid’s cause. The Barbados Cycling Union letter proposes an amendment that, in part, 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 other words, McQuaid should be allowed to run for president because he is the UCI president. A day later, on Aug. 28, the Turkish Cycling Union also submitted an amendment for consideration by the UCI Congress, hoping to add wording to the initial amendment proposal, stating, “The incumbent president has the right to stand for re-election without nominations.”

Should that be ratified, the Turkish letter called for its application in 2013, which would allow McQuaid to run against challenger Brian Cookson, the president of British Cycling.

The UCI Congress, which meets at the upcoming UCI Road World Championships in Florence, Italy, still has to accept the rule change before McQuaid can be declared a candidate. If he’s allowed to go forward, the Irishman will then see another vote, this one for a third term as president.

McQuaid and Cookson are locked in a contentious election campaign for the UCI’s top post. A number of detractors have challenged the legitimacy of McQuaid’s candidacy after the federations in his home country of Ireland and adopted home of Switzerland refused to back his run for the seat. Each candidate will present his platform to the European Cycling Union in a special meeting on Sunday in Zurich.

Neither campaign responded to a request for comment on the proposed changes on Friday morning.

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Matthew Beaudin

Matthew Beaudin

Matthew Beaudin graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder's journalism school in 2005 and immediately moved to Telluride, Colorado, to write and ski, though the order is fuzzy. Beaudin was the editor of the Telluride Daily Planet for five years. He now lives in Boulder, where he joined VeloNews in the spring of 2012. Music. Coffee. Bikes. His dog, Anabelle. That about sums it up. Follow him on Twitter @matthewcbeaudin.

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