|© AP Photo/Vincent Thian
FIA presidential candidate David Ward will file a complaint to the motorsport body's ethics committee this week after accusing current president Jean Todt of using the federation's resources for his re-election campaign.
Ward, who recently resigned from his longstanding position as director general of the FIA foundation, announced last month that he would challenge Todt in the December election in Paris.
"It appears that the FIA's current presidency has been using FIA resources to try to predetermine the election outcome even before the process had begun," Ward said in a statement published on his campaign website.
Ward is claiming that Todt is using FIA meetings to help secure votes before the election.
"The FIA arranges and pays for meetings around the world, including to discuss how regions will benefit from future FIA activities and resources," the statement read. "It emerges that, at these meetings, a number of clubs have been asked to sign formal written commitments to support Jean Todt's re-election bid, in the form of 'support agreements.'"
Todt has been FIA's president since 2009 when he succeeded Max Mosley. He confirmed at the Italian Grand Prix last weekend that he would be seeking another mandate.
Ward, who is proposing 20 reforms to FIA in his manifesto entitled ‘Agenda for Change,’ accused his rival of breaching the FIA's rules by asking for signatures ahead of the vote.
"It is vital that the FIA election processes are conducted in a fair, democratic and transparent manner," Ward said. "I believe that demanding signature of support agreements in these circumstances represents a serious violation of the FIA's rules, regulations and ethical code. The complaint will enable the Ethics Committee to investigate the legitimacy of these agreements, the circumstances in which signatures were demanded, and whether it is an appropriate use of the FIA's resources for its staff and management to pursue Mr Todt's personal re-election ambitions at official FIA regional meetings."
Ward's proposed reforms for FIA include appointing a chief executive -- hired through an open recruitment policy and on a fixed-term contract -- and setting up a new management board and a supervisory board.
The 56-year-old Briton also suggested limiting the term of the FIA president to two terms as well as introducing cost controls to enable higher levels of investment.
Ward was an aide to former president Max Mosley and worked as an adviser to former Labour Party leader John Smith. He is also the executive secretary of the independent Commission for Global Road Safety and represents FIA in the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration.