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David Ward withdraws FIA presidential bid

International Motor Sport Federation (FIA) presidential candidate David Ward has withdrawn his campaign a month ahead of elections, leaving current president Jean Todt unopposed.

The 57-year-old Briton resigned as director general of the FIA Foundation in August and confirmed he would challenge Todt for presidency. However in a letter addressed to all FIA members today Ward withdrew his bid, after failing to secure sufficient backing.

Ward’s letter read: “I am writing to confirm my withdrawal as a candidate in the 2013 FIA presidential election. It has not proved possible for me to secure the required number of regional vice-presidents for sport to ensure the eligibility of my list. I, therefore, would like to offer my congratulations to Jean Todt who will secure a second term uncontested if unopposed. 

“For many years the FIA has struggled with governance reform. All too often it takes one step forward and then two steps back. This is clear from the current election which is being run on a shorter presidential list than the 2009 but which is offset by a new requirement for 26 nominating clubs. The 2009 eligibility threshold was 23 but has now risen to 37, which is the highest ever in the history of the FIA. 

“The current FIA model is government of the leadership, by the leadership, for the leadership. I think it would be better if they took their inspiration from [former US] President Lincoln. The FIA’s government should be of the clubs, by the clubs, and for the clubs.”