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Kirsan Ilyumzhinov remains President of FIDE, but with limited power (Update 5)

Kirsan IlyumzhinovThe power struggle that started in FIDE in the end of March reached a temporary stalemate. At the extraordinary meeting of the Presidential Board meeting in Athens, it was decided that Kirsan Ilymzhinov will stay President of FIDE until the end of 2018. However, his power will be limited and he will not be able to take major decisions nor sign contracts.

Update: FIDE confirms the sources of and reaffirms that after the new board meeting today, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has withdrawn from all his powers

Full story below (developing)

Chronology of the story

March 26th, 2017 Kirsan Ilyumzhinov resigned… or not?
March 28th, 2017 Nigel Freeman to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov
March 29th, 2017 Makropoulos letter to Kirsan Ilymzhinov
March 30th, 2017 Statement from Zurab Azmaiparashvili and Jorge Vega
April 4th, 2017 Kirsan Ilyumzhinov creates “Kirsan Fund”

Today was the D-day of the FIDE presidency turmoil. The resignation of the under-sanctions President of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was discussed at the FIDE PB extraordinary meeting in Athens. The only agenda on the table behind closed doors was whether or not Kirsan Ilyumzhinov will remain in power.

The odds before the meeting were clear: the FIDE website published official information that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov resigns on March 26th, the Executive director Mr. Freeman and Deputy Makropoulos pointed to Kirsan having submitted his resignation, Continental Presidents Azmaiparashvili and Vega also confirmed the stance of FIDE. On the other side Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had little support, practically only Russia (Dmitry Peskov and Andrey Filatov) staying on his side. Everyone’s expectation was that April 10th is the last day of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov in office.

Contrary to the general vibe, the meeting in Athens went peacefully. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov will remain in office until 2018, when the regular FIDE Presidential elections will be held. However, due to multiple factors, the powers of Kirsan Ilyumzhinov will be limited.

Update 12:45 CET: all officials from the FIDE PB meeting refrained from commenting the story until a statement on the FIDE website has been published. Only the Vice President Andrei Filatov stated for TASS that, “Kirsan just called me and confirmed he remains President of FIDE”

Update 13:30 CET: Berik Balgabaev stated for TASS, “Status quo remains. Kirsan will continue to be President of FIDE without any restrictions”. This is a controversial statement, so far the “status quo” was defined as limited/suspended powers for Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, an arrangement proposed by Ilyumzhinov himself after the US sanctions were enacted. Awaiting the FIDE official statement

FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos commented for

“The meeting was peaceful and all decisions were reached unanimously. Berik Balgabaev did not attend the meeting and I don’t understand how can he give false information to the Russian media. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov remains FIDE President, nobody wanted to remove him, and everything is explained in the press release after the Presidential Board.

The Board unanimously reconfirmed its decision of 6th December 2015. The Board decided that the Powers of the FIDE President, as described in Chapter 9 of the FIDE Statutes, are fully delegated to the FIDE Deputy President.”

Update 15:30 CET Official statement by FIDE

Athens, 10th April 2017

An Extraordinary Presidential Board meeting was held in Athens on Monday 10th April 2017.

Present for the meeting were Mr Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE President and Mr Georgios Makropoulos, Deputy President, together with fourteen other voting board members, representing a quorum. Also present were FIDE Honorary Vice-Presidents and Senior FIDE Executives.

1. Legality of meeting

Based on legal opinion presented to the EPB, the Board unanimously confirmed the legality of the meeting.

2. Powers delegated to the FIDE Deputy President by the FIDE Presidential Board

Legal opinion was again presented and the Board unanimously reconfirmed its decision of 6th December 2015 and is reproduced hereunder:

Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s decision to withdraw from any legal, financial and business operations of FIDE is to enable him to concentrate on clearing the situation with the US Department of the Treasury.

Until further notice, under section A.9.5 of the FIDE Statutes, if the President: “duly authorises, then he can be represented by the Deputy President who shall exercise the powers of the President. The Deputy President can thus represent FIDE officially and can solely sign for FIDE.” Therefore Mr. Makropoulos will now be exercising these powers and representing FIDE officially.

Mr. Ilyumzhinov advised that he has initiated legal procedures in the US aiming to request additional information and reverse restrictive measures put by the US Department of the Treasury. During the next Presidential Board meeting, Mr. Ilyumzhinov will update the Board as to the progress of the legal procedures.

In the circumstances, the Board also approved the removal of Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s name from the trade register of Canton Vaud, and the removal of his name from all documents with UBS Bank”.

Also the Board decided that the Powers of the FIDE President, as described in Chapter 9 of the FIDE Statutes and is reproduced hereunder, are fully delegated to the FIDE Deputy President:

“Chapter 09 – The President and Deputy President

9.1. The President represents FIDE officially and can solely sign for FIDE. All contracts signed by the President shall be subject to prior approval or subsequent ratification by the Presidential Board. Any contract that commits FIDE to an obligation or exposes FIDE to a potential liability of more than €100,000 must be submitted for ratification by the Executive Board or General Assembly.

9.2. The President presides over the meetings of the General Assembly, the Executive Board and the Presidential Board.

9.3. The President presents an annual report to the General Assembly.

9.4. The President’s decisions may be appealed to the General Assembly, Executive Board or Presidential Board.

9.5. If the President is unable to act or if he duly authorises, then he can be represented by the Deputy President who shall exercise the powers of the President. The Deputy President can thus represent FIDE officially and can solely sign for FIDE.

9.6. In certain cases the FIDE President can also delegate specific tasks to other persons; this includes authorising in writing other FIDE officials to sign contracts on his behalf.”

3. Statement of Mr Kirsan Ilyumzhinov regarding revocation of his powers

Mr Ilyumzhinov withdrew his statement of 6 April regarding the revocation of his powers.

4. Resignation of Mr Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Mr Ilyumzhinov explained that in the previous board meeting he had emotionally expressed his desire to resign but he now felt that he had more time to contribute to Chess. Mr Makropoulos and several board members then commented on the current situation. It was clear that nobody during the FIDE PB of March 26th 2017 had asked for his resignation nor did they make any calls for his removal from office. Mr Makropoulos stated that FIDE always wants to maintain excellent relations with the Russian Chess Federation, which may not have had complete information regarding the present situation.

5. Misleading Statements to the media by Mr Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Mr Ilyumzhinov apologised for making statements regarding FIDE Presidential Board members and FIDE Executives.

It was unanimously agreed by the Board that no statements would be made on behalf of FIDE, or purporting to represent FIDE, unless such statements are made with prior approval of the FIDE Secretariat.

It was also unanimously agreed that everyone would co-operate productively for the good of FIDE, National chess federations and the worldwide chess community.

End of FIDE official statement

Developing story, this article will be updated, stay tuned for details

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