Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pre-candidates need to collect signatures

To be allowed to take part in the presidential elections of FC Barcelona, pre-candidates will have to prove they have at least a minimum of backing by the fans by collecting the signatures of a determined number of club members. This is one of the measures to avoid that there would be too many candidates.

The first paragraph of Article 42.3 (titled Support of the club members to the candidacies) of FC Barcelona's by-laws reads as follows: "To obtain the [approval] by the Electoral Board, the candidacies have to be proposed by a number of club members that is not less than fifty per cent (50%) of the delegates that are part of the [General] Assembly."

Catalan sports paper Sport reported last week that 4.190 delegates were summoned for the club's last General Assembly in August of this year, which means that to be a candidate for the presidency of FC Barcelona, one will have to collect at least 2.095 signatures of club members.

Several media had claimed before that close to 5.000 signatures would be needed due to the growth of the number of club members, but this seemed to have been based on a wrong interpretation of the club's by-laws and a confusion with the number of signatures needed for a vote of non-confidence.

The actual number is nevertheless still considerably higher than the number of signatures requested in the elections of 2003 (little more than 1.500) and 2006 (1.804).

Barcelona president Joan Laporta, flanked by directors (from left to right) Xavier Cambra, Marc Ingla and Rafael Yuste, on his way to present the signatures needed to take part in the 2006 elections. Laporta's candidacy was that year the only one that was able to collect the requested number of signatures.

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