(ATR) No public promotion, speeches or debates allowed by presidential candidates of the Pan American Sports Organization according to new election guidelines.
The PASO executive committee passed the six-page document outlining the campaign rules at the behest of legislative commission chairman Michael Chambers.
The guidelines stipulate that candidates may only promote their vision for the future of PASO to presidents and secretaries general of the 41 National Olympic Committees in PASO and that visits to these NOCs should be limited in number.
While designed to "ensure a fair and level playing field for the election of the PASO President and other Executive Committee members", the rules seem to restrict the ability of candidates to get their campaign messages across.
"The promotion of a candidature for PASO President or any other elected PASO Executive Committee position shall exclude any form of publicity, including the use of new media or social networks," the new rules state.
PASO president Julio Maglione tells Around the Rings the guidelines were approved by an executive committee majority with one negative vote and two abstentions. Maglione says the new rules are in line with those of the International Olympic Committee.
There are five candidates seeking to replace PASO president and IOC member Maglione. Maglione was elected by PASO in 2015 following the death of its former president Mario Vazquez Rana.
Rio 2016 president Carlos Nuzman, Chile NOC president Neven Ilic, IOC member Richard Peterkin of St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines NOC secretary general Keith Joseph and former Dominican Republic NOC president Jose Puello are each vying to take control of the continental association.
However, only one of Peterkin, Joseph and Puello will be present on the final ballot representing the Caribbean region according to a "gentleman’s agreement" between the three candidates.
It is unclear whether this agreement between the candidates violates article 20 of the guidelines which prohibits collusion among candidates. ATR is awaiting clarification from PASO.
ATR is also told all candidates must submit their official interest to the organization by Jan. 28, three months prior to the election on April 28 in Montevideo, Uruguay. If the gentleman’s agreement between the three candidates stands, it is likely they must submit a final Caribbean nominee by the end of the month.
The election will take place at the end of an extraordinary general assembly from April 25-28.
Written by Kevin Nutley
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