An interview with Andrei Korobeinik, ECU representative in FIDE ELE Commission and President of the Estonian Chess Federation about the subjective work of the FIDE Electoral Commission

220px-RE_Andrei_KorobeinikFIDE Electoral commission met in Athens at the weekend. What was the purpose of that meeting?

- Electoral Commission is a new body within FIDE created before current presidential elections. It’s purpose is to verify delegates for FIDE congress and to address complaints related to FIDE presidential elections. There were quite a few complaints from different parties, mostly from presidential candidates.

All complaints filed on behalf of Mr. Ilumzhinov were satisfied while all the complaints made by Mr. Kasparov were denied by commission. As the result, commission changed quite a few delegates. The final list of delegates was published on 7th of July at FIDE web site.

Are you satisfied with the decisions of electoral commission?

- There were some cases that looked really strange to me but that’s how democracy works – majority always wins. The most stunning example for me was Gabon. There were two candidates who both claimed they were elected for president of Gabon Chess Federation.

One candidate provided correct minutes of elections, was supported by National Olympic Committee and Ministry of Sports. The other candidate provided minutes which were not signed, one of the people who “voted” at the elections sent us written declaration stating he wasn’t there, secretary of Gabon Chess Federation sent us letter saying he wasn’t invited to take part at the elections. I voted for the first candidate, four other members of commission supported the second. That was not the only case when commission dismissed support by National Olympic Committee, which is a warning sign to me.

What do you think should be changed before next elections in order to make Electoral Commission more efficient?

- I believe we should make Electoral Commission unbiased and disallow commission members to run for the office themselves, e.g. to be part of the ticket at continental elections. Currently Electoral Commission members can choose delegates who will vote for (or against) them at the congress – that may lead to decisions which are not quite impersonal. It’s crucial to make Electoral Commission neutral – any biased decision will severely damage the image of chess.

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