International Olympic Committee re-elects 27 members as a group
Published Thursday July 5th, 2007
| Antun Vrdoljak
IOC president Jacques Rogge and 26 other members were re-elected as a group by their colleagues Thursday in a process instituted after the Salt Lake City bidding scandal.
The 27 members were put to a vote in one bloc at the International Olympic Committee assembly. They were re-elected to eight-year terms in a secret ballot by a vote of 90-5 with four abstentions.
The re-election was for regular membership and did not affect Rogge's presidential seat. His eight-year presidential term expires in 2009, and he is eligible for a second four-year mandate.
Among others re-elected Thursday were FIFA president Sepp Blatter of Switzerland, former FIFA president Joao Havelange of Brazil, Prince Albert of Monaco and IOC vice-president Gunilla Lindberg of Sweden.
The rest of the IOC's 111 members will face re-election next year or in 2009.
The decision to subject members to re-election every eight years was part of a 50-point reform package adopted in 1999 following the Salt Lake City case, in which 10 members resigned or were expelled for accepting improper benefits. The reforms also included a 70-year age limit for new members.
The IOC struggled to find a system for making the re-election process democratic and transparent. In the end, the IOC's policy-making 15-member executive board screened the list and put forward all the names as a group without any objection.
Rogge stressed the members had been "vetted."
"This is not a rubber stamp," he said. "The executive board looks at the list case by case and decides whether to go forward."
Speaking before the vote, several members questioned the need for the process. Patrick Chamanda, a member from Zambia since 2002, said the elections were "unintended consequences of the reforms" and said the IOC should review whether they are still valid.
The IOC will hold a more competitive election Saturday when Norway's Gerhard Heiberg seeks to retain his seat on the executive board. The other candidates are senior U.S. member Anita DeFrantz, FINA president Mustapha Larfaoui of Algeria and Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., son of the former IOC president.
Among those on the approved list Thursday was Meliton Sanchez, who is at the centre of a power struggle over control of Panama's national Olympic committee. A court threw out Sanchez's 2002 election as president of the national body, and the government recognizes a rival group. Earlier this week, the IOC suspended the Panama committee pending its own investigation.
Others re-elected were Shahid Ali, Pakistan; Fernando Lima Bello, Portugal; Valeriy Borzov, Ukraine; Ottavio Cinquanta, Italy; Alpha Ibrahim Diallo, Guinea; Nawal El Moutawakel, Morocco; Rene Fasel, Switzerland; Reynaldo Gonzales Lopez, Cuba; Kevan Gosper, Australia; He Zhenliang, China; Patrick Hickey, Ireland; and Jim Easton, U.S.
Also, Willi Kaltschmitt, Guatemala; Arne Ljungqvist, Sweden; Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg; Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands; Irena Szewinska, Poland; Walther Troeger, Germany; Antun Vrdoljak, Croatia; Ching-Kuo Wu, Taiwan; Mohamed Mzali, Tunisia.
Source: http://canadaeast.com/ce2/docroot/article.php?articleID=24690 Formatted for CROWN by Marko Puljiæ
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