European Weightlifting Federation on its way for Electoral Congress

EWF Interim President Maxim Agapitov

Press release on the meeting of the Executive Board of the EWF

(PRESS RELEASE) MOSCOW, 12-Oct-2021 — /EuropaWire/ — The meeting of the Executive Committee of the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF) was held on October 10 under the chairmanship of Interim President Maxim Agapitov in the format of a zoom conference. The event was devoted to the convocation of an extraordinary Electoral Congress to elect a new president, the prospects of returning to the Executive Board of its two members Oren Shay (Israel) and Denise Offermann (Cyprus), who had previously left the board of their own volition, a vote of no confidence in the Interim President, which in the absence of Maxim Agapitov tried to initiate some members of the Federation, the current challenges of the Federation and the development plan.

The question of the return of ex-members in the Executive Board will be submitted to the electoral congress, where the question of deprivation of authority of the current president Hassan Akkus, who voluntarily suspended his powers in connection with the investigation of the doping scandal in the IWF, will also be discussed. The Executive Board decided that it was necessary to consult with Swiss lawyers (the headquarters of the EWF is in Lausanne) on the procedure for convening the electoral congress and the prospects of returning the ex-members to the Executive Board. The decision on “vote of no confidence” has no legal force, not only because the procedure for submitting questions to Congress and providing a real opportunity to respond to accusations was grossly violated, but also because such a question is not provided for in the current Constitution.

During the meeting of the Executive Board, Maxim Agapitov reported on his work as Interim President from June 2021 to the present. During the past months, Mr. Agapitov participated in a large number of international events; analyzed the work of the profile committees and prepared a proposal for their development; as a member of the IWF Executive Committee he supported the decision of the IWF Executive Board to allocate $250 thousand per year to the development of all continental federations; had successful negotiations with sponsors; was directly related to the organization and holding the first live championship (European Championship) among all contests. Russia is the only country that invested 2.8 million euro in the preparation of this event.

Maxim Agapitov gave up his salary for the entire period since his appointment to the post, explaining this by his desire to deal exclusively with the development of the Federation.

Maxim Agapitov: “I, as the first Vice President of the EWF, accepted the position of Interim President due to the crisis situation caused by the voluntary resignation of the President Hassan Akkus. Acting as crisis manager for this period, I have to bring my work in the Federation to the electoral congress, ensuring its normal functioning. The misunderstanding among the members of the Executive Committee of the EWF stems from different interpretations of the articles of the Constitution. The members of the Executive Committee understand that any decisions taken in violation of the current Constitution will be challenged in CAS, and this will lead to lengthy and expensive court proceedings. I am confident that in the near future all disputed issues will be resolved and we will be able to set a date for the electoral congress.”

Among the EWF’s plans for the coming year Maxim Agapitov mentioned the development of marketing strategy, attracting sponsors and attracting maximum attention of the international community to the development of clean sport. In particular, in the coming months, Maxim Agapitov and his colleagues from the International Weightlifting Federation together with Richard McLaren are planning to hold an event in the European Parliament on the effective policy in the fight for clean sport against doping and corruption.

Legal Brief.

  1. On the withdrawal of members from the Executive Board:
    Four people have previously written an official letter that they are leaving the Executive Board. At the same time two of them (Tina Breiter and David Kipshidze) have the status of the Vice-President of the Federation and are members of the Executive Board ex officio (point 9.2 of the Constitution). They have never signed any statements about the resignation from the powers of the Vice-Presidents. Accordingly, they continue to be members of the Executive Committee by virtue of clause 9.2 of the Constitution. In contrast, the other two (Denise Offermann and Oren Shay) are simply members of the Executive Board and do not have the status that, by itself, allows them to participate in Executive Board meetings (e.g. President, Vice-President, General Secretary, Treasurer). They have written statements of resignation from the Executive Board. According to the provisions of the Swiss Civil Code (Art.65, etc.) and judicial practice, such withdrawal is explicitly regarded as “final” (“acte formateur” in French) and a return simply “at will” is impossible. The two vacant posts now require a new election to be held in the usual manner.
  2. A vote of no confidence for the Interim President.
    The EWF Constitution does not provide for such a procedure. Paragraph 19.11 of the Constitution states that the powers of the Interim President (which can only be the First Vice President, and no other option is provided for in the Constitution) are terminated either by the resignation of the permanent one or the election of a new one. Replacing the Interim President with someone else is not in accordance with the Constitution.
  3. The Electoral Congress
    Not every Congress is electoral – but if any Congress is scheduled for election or re-election (even if for a single office), that Congress will be considered electoral. The Constitution contains a special rule (clause 8.18) for such Congresses – for the purpose of properly ensuring the electoral rights of all EWF members. Precisely in order to guarantee that the active and passive electoral rights of all members are respected, the Constitution sets strict (and longer than usual) deadlines for preparing for such a Congress: (a) at least 120 days before the Electoral Congress, the EWF must send out invitations to its members, inviting nominations, (b) at least 60 days before the Electoral Congress, all details of nominated candidates must be received by the EWF from its members, (c) at least 30 days before the Electoral Congress, the EWF must send out a list of candidates to all its members. Only strict adherence to the procedure stipulated by the current Constitution can keep EWF from becoming involved in lengthy and costly legal processes related to challenging the election results and confirming the legitimacy of elected officials.

Media contacts:

Maxim Agapitov
Interim President
1st Vice-president
President of RFWF
IWF Executive Board member

+7 963 782 64 03

SOURCE: Maxim Agapitov


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