KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja‘afar will stand for a second four-year term in September elections against Scotland’s Louise Martin.
The Malaysian was elected unopposed in 2011 after succeeding Jamaica’s Michael Fennell and said he needed more time to push though his reforms of the organisation, which has 71 nation and territory members mainly from the former British empire.
“During my first term, I started a strategic review and we’ve gone through a lot of reforms within the CGF,” he was quoted as saying by Malaysian media on Thursday.
“Having started the process and completed the first phase of the strategic planning, I’d like to see some of them implemented in the coming term.”
Tunku, CGF’s seventh president, oversaw last year’s successful Commonwealth Games in Glasgow which went some way to repairing the reputation of the multi-sport event after a chaotic and expensive 2010 edition.
The New Delhi Games were marred by ever escalating costs and corruption with many of the top athletes, like Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, staying away.
Martin was the vice-chairwoman of the Glasgow Games, sits on the CGF executive board and is seeking to become the first woman to head the body.
She said her decision to stand was not in anyway a protest at Tunku, who has come under fire for wanting to move the CGF headquarters from London to Kuala Lumpur.
“I get along very well with him. He’s a friend and I respect everything he’s done,” she told insidethegames website upon announcing her bid to stand on Wednesday.
Tunku, who served as CGF vice-president for eight years before taking over the top job, was not adverse to Martin’s competition.
“It’s democracy, like any other sports bodies... we’ll see what happens,” said the former national squash champion, who turns 67 later this month.
The election is scheduled to take place on Sept. 2 at the CGF General Assembly in Auckland, where Durban are to be confirmed as hosts of the 2022 Games following Edmonton’s withdrawal from the race last month.
Australia’s Gold Coast will host in 2018.
Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by John O'Brien