IHF Congress: concerns about voting manipulation

Reports from the IHF Congress in Cairo suggest that the IHF President is finding it surprisingly difficult to obtain the 2/3 majority that he needs to get his By-Laws proposals approved.  And, by some strange coincidence (?), at the same time the voting machinery is ‘malfunctioning’ and causing disputes!  Two years ago, at the Election Congress in Cairo, the IHF President insisted on the utilization of electronic voting, instead of secret voting through paper ballots.  With some hesitation on the part of the Congress participants, this was agreed, and this is now supposed to be the standard procedure.

But in the middle of today’s tense voting process, it appears that the electronic voting system did not function properly.  Much to everyone’s amazement, the IHF President then asked the participants to agree to open voting.  Why the simple method of secret voting with paper ballots could not be arranged was apparently not explained.  But the Congress participants refused to accept the suggestion of non-confidential voting.  So the President had to agree to try to get the electronic voting to function again.  But now it is being reported that it was then discovered that the electronic voting was monitored in such a way, that the President could observe the voting of each participant!  Of course this caused a major uproar.

At the moment when this is being written, it is not yet clear how the problems will be resolved and if/how the voting will continue.  There is now a suspicion on the part of some Congress participants, that the IHF regime may quickly try to fly in some additional participants who have not yet been present at the Congress, all with the intention to obtain some crucial additional votes.  Some people are also thinking back to the 2009 Congress in Cairo.  In retrospect, is there now reason to wonder if the voting took place in a proper fashion at this time?   And more generally, it boosts the suspicions as to why the President wants to organize criticial Congresses in locations where he might be in a position to ‘control the environment’ (short of preventing last week’s bombing in Marrakech)!   IHF:  such a wonderful ‘democracy’…!

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