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Old September 30th 10, 04:37 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc,alt.chess,soc.culture.russian,rec.games.chess.analysis
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Default No Irregularities in Voting at the FIDE Congress

Already there is talk of court challenges to the results of the FIDE
Election. However, I can assure you that any such challenge will go
nowhere.

The tellers went to great lengths to make sure there were no
irregularities in the actual voting. First the ballot box which was a
clear plastic box was shown to be empty. The delegates were told that
no cameras, cell phones, black berries or other electronic devices of
any kind were allowed inside the voting booth. All such devices were
to be left with the tellers before picking up the ballot.

Then Carol Jarecki stood next to the voting booth as the voter entered
the booth. There was a see-through cloth surrounding the booth so that
she could see if a voter took out a cell phone or a camera inside the
voting. Carol Jarecki would often ask the voter to open his jacket so
that she could see that there were no electronic devices hidden there.

All this was done because in the previous election in 2006 in Turin
Italy there were complaints that voters took cameras inside the voting
booth to take pictures of their own ballots so as to give bribe-givers
proof that they had voted the right way.

Also, cameras were not allowed in the room at all during the voting,
not even video cameras from reputable news agencies. This is because
in Turin in 2006 voters complained that Russian news cameras were
pointed literally down their necks and could read the votes on the
ballots.

Furthermore, while all this was going on, Ank Santens, a partner in
the law firm of White and Case (who I and nobody else knew because I
had met her while we were standing in line at the Russian Consulate in
New York City waiting to get a visa) and who represents Karpov, was
perched in a high chair overlooking all this to see if there were any
irregularities. Ank Santens then accompanied the tellers and
scrutineers into a closed room to observe the counting of the ballots.

In short there is no doubt that the final vote count of 95 to 55 was
an honest vote count.

There were however serious irregularities in parliamentary procedure
in the way in which the delegate for Peru was decided.

Milton Iturry who was believed to support Kirsan, and Adrian Noreiga,
who was believed to support Karpov, were present at the meeting, both
claiming to be the proper delegate. Milton Iturry is the long time
President of the Peru Chess Federation. However, few months earlier
the Minister of Sports in Peru had removed Milton Iturry from office.
Adrian Noreiga was his replacement.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made a long speech in Russian saying that the
ministers in any government cannot be allowed to interfere in a chess
federation matter. Then, without allowing anybody else to speak,
Kirsan concluded his speech by saying that everybody in favor of
confirming Milton Iturry as delegate should raise their hands. When a
clear majority raised their hands, Kirsan declared Iturry to be the
delegate.

This was a clear and indeed outrageous violation of Roberts Rules of
Order. However, it only affected one vote.

There is now a FIDE rule in place that no country is allowed to hold
more than one proxy. Gone are the days when Campomanes used to hold 40
or 50 proxies. There were altogether very few proxies. I would say
about 15. Most countries had their own representative there. The
"Kirsan Team" held few or none.

There were only six disputed proxies, one of which affected Ireland,
so there was really no issue here over which one could make a court
case.

Presidents of chess federations and delegates from chess federations
were allowed to speak during the business meeting. However, as Karpov
and Kasparov were neither the president of any chess federation nor
the delegate from any chess federation, they were not allowed to speak
except that Karpov was given 15 minutes to speak just before the
voting.

At the beginning of the meeting at 10:00 AM, the lawyers were allowed
to speak. They objected to the commecement of the meeting, saying that
first the proxy issues had to be decided. However, as the General
Assembly was the ultimate authority to decide the proxy issues, it was
obvious that first the meeting had to be convened and those delegates
about whom there was no doubt had to be seated so that they could vote
on the proxy issues.

There was so much shouting and screaming during this early period with
the lawyers creating a circus atmosphere that finally Kirsan ruled
that the lawyers were not allowed to speak any more. This ruling met
with great approval among the General Assembly and there was a loud
applause.

As to the legality of this, suppose a tourist off the street walked
into the General Assembly of the United Nations and demanded the right
to speak. Would he be allowed to speak there?

Sam Sloan in Khanty-Mansiysk in Siberia, Russia
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