David Ward, who is opposing Jean Todt for the presidency of the FIA has launched a second press release in two days (the third in the last five days), accusing Todt of misusing the office of president to campaign for votes.
“The FIA arranges and pays for meetings around the world, including to discuss how regions will benefit from future FIA activities and resources,” says Ward’s statement. “It emerges that, at these meetings, a number of clubs have been asked to sign formal written commitments to support Jean Todt’s re-election bid, in the form of ‘support agreements’.”
Ward’s own comment on the situation is, “It is vital that the FIA election processes are conducted in a fair, democratic and transparent manner. I believe that demanding signature of support agreements in these circumstances represents a serious violation of the FIA’s rules, regulations and ethical code.
“The complaint will enable the Ethics Committee to investigate the legitimacy of these agreements, the circumstances in which signatures were demanded, and whether it is an appropriate use of the FIA’s resources for its staff and management to pursue Mr. Todt’s personal re-election ambitions at official FIA regional meetings”.
It is believed that these allegations relate to a visit to South America.
Following on from Ward’s letter to the FIA administration department asking for reassurances that both candidates would be given equal opportunity and coverage as well as calling for independent monitoring of the election process, Ward is calling into question Todt’s probity at an early stage of the campaign.
Todt told reporters at the weekend that there isn’t much he can do if a local president offers him support, sometimes as a reaction to press criticism of him.
Clearly this is going to be a campaign which is not only bloody, but also played out in the media.