Commentary

Fear of voter intimidation reigns on eve of FIFA election

The FIFA presidential election has not yet taken place, and the contest is already in the courts, or the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the high court for sports disputes.

At issue: the construction of the voting booths.

Prince Ali, considered a long shot in the five-man race to succeed Sepp Blatter, wants transparent voting booths, not to see who vote for whom but to ensure that voters don't take photos of their completed ballots.

Many federations are under pressure to offer proof that they voted for whom they were told to vote for under threat -- it is charged -- of being penalized if they go against their confederation line. (Conversely, it has been suggested that they must offer proof of whom they voted for in order to rewarded for their support.)

Prince Ali's lawyers argue FIFA's request for voters to leave their smart phones (or smart watches? are Google glasses still around?) behind when they vote is "not sufficient."

FIFA didn't buy the argument that its position denies "any right to a fair and transparent voting process," so Prince Ali turned to CAS, the same court where the appeals of the suspensions handed down to Michel Platini and Blatter will likely end up.

"As a consequence," Prince Ali said in a statement, "we are now seeking provisional measures before CAS to suspend the coming election."

CAS has said it would issue a decision by Thursday morning. Update: CAS rejected the request.



Meanwhile, Frenchman Jerome Champagne, considered a long shot to even garner the support of five federations he needed to get on the ballot, has protested about the number of "observers" allowed into the hall for Friday's election -- 20 for UEFA and seven for the AFC. (UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino and AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa are the frontrunners.)

Champagne said these observers -- members of campaign teams of Infantino and Sheikh Salman -- could unfairly use their access to voting delegates to influence their votes, especially as the election moves into a second or third round
2 comments about "Fear of voter intimidation reigns on eve of FIFA election".
  1. Andrea Hana, February 24, 2016 at 11:09 a.m.

    In some countries, people take pictures of their voting ballots because of fraud, to prove their actual voting choice, not what the computer says it is, in case of some "mistake". Here we have reason for voters NOT to take pics? This is weird, to me.

  2. Ric Fonseca, February 24, 2016 at 10:38 p.m.

    Hey, got an idea for the circus of elections here: we should do the same especially with the guy that lives in some towers in NCY...

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