Thursday, 26 October 2006

Will the Real president please stand up?

Juan Miguel Villar MirJuan Miguel Villar Mir, failed candidate to the presidency of Real Madrid in last summer's elections claimed today that he expects to be declared the winner in "a few weeks or days", once he wins his legal appeal to have the postal vote included.

Villar Mir was vice-president of Real Madrid under the late Ramón Mendoza in the mid-90s and had Carlos Sainz, twice World Rally Champion, as his second-in command during the election.

The Real Madrid elections generated a great deal of controversy over the postal vote, with large question marks over the way it was administered. Many Real Madrid members have complained that their name appears in the list of those who voted by post even though they did not do so, and actually voted in person. The postal vote was annulled by a judge after complaints from some of the candidates

The final decision on what to do with the postal vote is with the judiciary, although any outcome which overturns the result of the election would be hard fought by the eventual winner (counting votes which were cast in person), Ramón Calderón.

It is a strange parallel to the US presidential election in 2000 which was finally decided in the courts (though that was mostly about 'chads' and the voters' intentions, rather than the postal vote). It is shameful that Real Madrid should have conducted their elections in this manner, with no guarantees as to the legitimacy of the election process, and it is essential that the current incumbent changes the rules so this cannot be repeated once again.

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