Could Pat McQuaid face a vote of no confidence at UCI Management Committee?

UCI President Pat McQuaid takes the oath before speaking at the French Senate hearing into anti-doping

UCI President Pat McQuaid takes the oath before speaking at the French Senate hearing into anti-doping (Image credit: AFP)

Cyclingnews has learnt that UCI Management committee member Mike Plant will present UCI president Pat McQuaid with a dossier of evidence against the President at today's Management Committee meeting in Bergen, Norway.

Two independent sources, close to the story, told Cyclingnews that the dossier would be presented during the meeting and that Plant hopes that McQuaid will address the information within it. However Cyclingnews understands that the meeting could end with a vote of no confidence for McQuaid, who is seeking a third term as President.

Earlier this month Brian Cookson announced that he would be standing against McQuaid in the election, which takes place later this year.

When contacted by Cyclingnews earlier this morning Plant would not confirm or deny whether a dossier would be presented. However a third source added that Plant would be “putting it all on the table today.” The meeting concludes later this afternoon.

In addition to McQuaid, the Management Committee consists of UCI Vice Presidents Hee Wook Cho (Korea), Renato Di Rocco (Italy), and Artur Lopes (Portugal); Members Mohamed Wagih Azzam (Eypt), José Manuel Peleaz (Cuba), Tracey Gaudry (Australia), Sheikh Faisal Bin Humaid Al Qassimi  (United Arab Emirates, Brian Cookson (Great Britian), David Lapparient (France), Mohamed Jamel Louafi (Tunisia),  Igor Viktorovich Makarov (Russia), Peder Pedersen (Denmark) and Mike Plant (USA); Honorary President Hein Verbruggen (Netherlands); and Honorary Vice Presidents Ray Godkin (Australia), Vladimir Holecek (Czech Republic) and Agostino Omini (Italy).

UCI Management Committee: A Procedural Primer

Additional reporting by Feargal Mc Kay

The UCI's constitution does not provide any direct guidance on the issue of a motion of no confidence and what would be the implications of such a vote going against the president. They do however offer indirect guidance.

Chapter V, articles 45-57 of the UCI constitution govern the Management Committee.

Article 45 states that the UCI "shall be managed by its Management Committee under the authority of the Congress." The article goes on to vest the Management Committee with "the most extensive powers as regards the management of the UCI and the regulation of cycling sports. It shall decide all matters not otherwise reserved to another policy body by this Constitution."

Article 46, among other things, allows the management committee to "lay down its own rules and procedures."

Article 47 governs the make up and election of the Management Committee, requiring that it "be composed of the President of the UCI and of nine other members elected by the Congress as well as of the presidents of the five continental confederations." In the same way the selection of voting delegates at UCI Congress attempts to give Europe the whip-hand, the Management Committee is also required to have a European bias, with seven of the ten elected members coming from European federations. In addition to the elected members, a maximum of two members may be co-opted, if the Management Committee so desires. These co-opted members shall have no voting rights but may attend meetings and discuss issues.

The Management Committee does appear to have the power to sack its co-opted members with Article 50 of the constitution stating that "Except in the event of resignation or dismissal by the Congress or by the Management Committee, the terms of office of such [co-opted] members shall expire at the same time as that of the sitting Management Committee." (emphasis added)

However, Article 53 suggests that it may not be possible for the Management Committee to terminate the term in office of an elected member. This article states that the "term of office of a member of the Management Committee shall come to an end by resignation, death, or dismissal by the Congress." (emphasis added).

Management Committee members wishing to resign are required to give 90-days' notice, unless the Management Committee (or Congress) decides otherwise.

For the purposes of Management Committee meetings a quorum – the minimum attendance required – is defined by Article 55 as the majority of the non-co-opted members. In all cases where voting is tied, the president has the casting vote.

In the event of the resignation – or death in office – of the President, Chapter VII, Article 63.4 deals with issues of succession: "In the event of death, resignation or dismissal of the President, the Vice-President as intended in paragraph 3 [ie the one with most seniority] shall fill the office of president until the next Congress."

The actual day-to-day procedural rules of the Management Committee are not, then, defined in the UCI's published constitution and allow the Management Committee to write its own rules and regulations, which are not published. What these rules have to say about the tabling of a motion of no confidence is not therefore know.

Normal rules for the conduct of committee meetings would allow members to table motions dealing with issues not already on the agenda, allowing in normal circumstances for something like a vote of no confidence to be called without prior notice. In normal circumstances, a simple majority – greater than 50% of the votes cast – would be sufficient for the motion to be carried.

The consequences of such a motion being approved are unclear. The UCI's constitution does not appear to allow the Management Committee to sack any of its elected members. This means that a vote of no confidence in the president would be non-binding, would simply be a recommendation from fellow Committee members that the time has come to go.

Should the president choose to ignore his fellow Committee members and carry on regardless, there is little that can be done to stop him, until Congress comes round and he can be removed from office. But a successful vote of no confidence would immediately send out a strong signal to the confederations, federations and the forty-two voting delegates as they ponder who to give their support to come Congress.

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