Dato' Seri G. Darshan Singh, Life President of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation and one of the three candidates running for the UCI presidency, has protested against the conduct of the International Cycling Union's electoral process. In a press release, Singh bemoaned the fact that current UCI president Hein Verbruggen sent a letter to the 42 voting delegates worldwide in support of Pat McQuaid, who stands the greatest chance of becoming the next UCI president when the Electoral Congress will cast its vote on September 23 in Madrid, Spain.
Singh called Verbruggen's letter, "biased, unethical, undemocratic and a breach in the conduct of a President. I have been in sports for 30 years and I have never seen something like this happening before. The President is always neutral, and does not show his favouritism. In this case, Mr. Verbruggen, the present President of UCI, has decided to write a letter to all voting delegates and UCI Federation Presidents (letter dated 8th July, 2005) to ask them to vote for Mr. Pat McQuaid. It is absolutely bizarre."
In the letter, Hein Verbruggen, also on behalf of the UCI Management Committee members, asks the delegates and federation presidents "for your support in electing Mr McQuaid as the next president of the UCI."
Darshan Singh, a member of the UCI Management Committee for over eight years, also emphasized the difference between agreeing on candidacy and promoting a candidate for presidency. While Pat McQuaid was approved as a candidate for presidency by the Management Committee in Hamilton 2003 (also see: Interview with Pat McQuaid), Singh stated, "I do not remember this decision taken that the UCI President and the UCI Management Committee is to campaign for Mr. Pat McQuaid," he said. "How can it be a decision if it is not even recorded? Mr. Hein Verbruggen, who always emphasizes on rules of good governance and of good ethics, has certainly breached the very fundamentals of this discipline."
The Malaysian lawyer believes that the elections are not conducted democratically. "The action of Mr. Verbruggen to write such a letter is certainly not democratic and has given the extra edge and mile to Mr. McQuaid in the run to the UCI presidency. The election of the President of UCI can no longer be conducted democratically as long as Mr. McQuaid is still a candidate."
Cyclingnews will have a full interview with Darshan Singh in the next few days.