Oceania National Olympic Committee President (ONOC) Dr Robin Mitchell has been elected unopposed as President of the Association of National Olympic Committees following a vote at the organisation’s General Assembly in Seoul.
The Fijian official takes on the permanent role after holding the position on an interim basis for the past four years.
He succeeds Kuwait’s Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who temporarily stood aside in 2018 after being charged with forgery in Switzerland.
A total of 182 votes were cast in the secret ballow, with 177 in favour, five against and two abstained.
“Thank you all for your support and now we have to think about what to do next,” said Dr Mitchell following applause from the General Assembly.
“I am looking forward to working with you for the next four years and I am sure we will have fun doing that.”
Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani also stood unchallenged as the senior vice-president of ANOC and was duly elected.
The Qatar Olympic Committee President, who was recently appointed to the IOC’s Olympism 365 Commission, is set to serve as vice-president for the next four years.
Of the 192 National Olympic Committees eligible to take part – one more than the Presidential election – 177 took part in the vote, with 166 in favour, 11 against and nine abstaining.
After receiving a standing ovation, Sheikh Joaan said: “I greatly appreciated your support and trust you have shown me today, and I thank the OCA (Olympic Council of Asia) for the nomination.
“I will work tirelessly to continue to represent the interests of the NOC family, and I am excited for what is to come.
“As we say in the Olympic Movement, we are stronger together and there is so much we can learn from each other.
“I know ANOC has a key role to play in facilitating the sharing of knowledge among NOCs.
“I look forward to working closely with President Mitchell, the ANOC Council, and the ANOC team over the next four years.”
ANOC faced critcism over the Presidential election taking place, with National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka secretary general Maxwell de Silva describing it as a “waste of time”.
“If the majority say you are not the fit person, are we going to say tecnically you can’t hold office?” said de Silva.
“This is not the correct.
“You are the only one standing here.
“It’s a waste of time.
“Why are we trying to elect now?
“You are already uncontested.
“This is insane.
South Sudan requested for a Constitutional amendment to allow for a candidate to be elected unanimously where there is only one vote “to make life easy”.
However, Dr Mitchell said he would prefer to “go through this process” and “quantify it”.
Meanwhile, the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) extend their warmest congratulations to President Dr Robin Mitchell on being elected President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).
“Today is a proud day for the island of Rotuma and its people, for Fiji, for all Pacific Islands countries and territories, and for every child who has dared dream from marginal settings globally – yes, it is possible – it is possible to rise and achieve anything when you put your heart to it and through building and valuing relationships.
“We are proud to be the home Continental Association for the President of ANOC and look forward to the next four years!
Congratulations again, President Mitchell, for living the Olympic Values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect!,” ONOC said in a Facebook post.
Fiji Association of Sports & National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) also congratulated Dr Mitchell on his election.
“FASANOC would like to congratulation Dr Robin Mitchell, who was elected as President of the Association of National Olympic Committees, unopposed,” it said on twitter.
SOURCE: INSIDE THE GAMES/PACNEWS