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A Battle For Control Of The Cycling Association, Or Is It the Cycling Federation?
posted (November 23, 2012)
Tomorrow, the Belize Cycling Association will elect a new executive - but it's shaping up to be a major war between the incumbent and a well-connected challenger.

Emil Moreno is the current president who is finishing up a four-year term and wants another. Dion Leslie - who is also the Deputy Mayor - is the challenger.

It may sound like an interesting battle - but it is riddled with controversy. That's because both men and their camps differ fundamentally on whether the Cycling Association is an association or a federation.

It's a consequential difference because Associations are elected by general membership, while Federations are elected by delegates. Over the last two days we spoke to the rival candidates to get their very differing views on how the election should proceed. First, we spoke to challenger Dion Leslie whose slate includes persons who served - at one time or the other - on his opponent's executive:...

Deon Leslie, Candidate for President of Cycling Association
"I am running for president along with a very competent slate which include Orson Butler who will be the vice president, Perry Gibson who will be treasurer, Leticia Westby will go for secretary and along the executive, we have people like Roque Matus, Andre Ordonez, Daniel Cano, Morecio Heredia and Marlon Smith who all make up the 9 members of the executive."

Jules Vasquez
"However, there is a wrinkle. I understand that the standing president is saying that this is no longer the Belize Cycling Association, it's the Belize Cycling Federation and therefore a federation is voted on by delegates."

Deon Leslie
"That's a story he is living in his head. By law they must go as what were registered and lodge with the national sports council and the constitution that was lodge on the 30th January, 2012 - the constitution is still the Belize Cycling Association where nothing was mention about delegates. In 2006 a draft was prepared to transition from association to a federation. It is written up by the then president Mr. Torres, but it was never ratified. Only a draft was presented and this is the confusion now because they are now going based on what on their website, but you must go what's based what you lodge with the national sports council and what they had lodge with the national sports council had nothing about delegates, it has about general members of the association."

Jules Vasquez
"So what will happen on Saturday - you will show up with the general members who support you and the standing president Mr. Moreno in his bid for re-election will show up with delegates?"

Deon Leslie
"My understanding is that he will have his legal counsel there. We also will have legal counsel there. Of course everything will left open to interpretation. We will have legal counsel, but we are going based on what the sports council is saying. They are going on what was lodge with them this year."

"There will be representative from the national sports council there to oversee the meeting and to make sure the meeting goes according to what is in the constitution that was lodge with the national sports council."

Jules Vasquez
"How do you respond to those who say; this is a UDP play - a UDP sports council and the UDP sports council is saying that it's an association. You are member of the UDP, a senior member of the UDP and now you all are just trying to run this too."

Deon Leslie
"It has nothing to do with politics. My slate - the members of the slate - at not anytime - you can ask anyone of them what's your political affiliation. in don't care about your political affiliation - I don't know what Mr. Moreno's political affiliation. I don't care about that. It's about what's best for the sport - it's about bringing back integrity to the sport - bring back races to the sport. I don't care about any political affiliation. This isn't any UDP/PUP/NIP - I don't care about that, it's about the sport, it's about the riders, it's about the fans."

And we also spoke to Emil Moreno. He's the incumbent president who is seeking re-election. He agrees that the statutes filed with the sports council are that of an association. But, he says that was an error - for which he blames a former member of his executive - who is now on his opponent's executive.

But, it matters not because he says the Federation rules have been posted on their website for years and that's the governing statute. We spoke to him near Roaring Creek today:

Emil Moreno - current President. Belize Cycling Association
"Tomorrow we are supposed to have a congress. It's a congress of cycling at the highest level. We have different associations that we have form up over the last couple of years and those regions are essential regions which is Belize City, the northern region, which is Orange Walk and Corozal, the western region, which is Belmopan and San Ignacio, Santa Elena, Benque Viejo and the southern region, which is Punta Gorda or Toledo and Stann Creek. In respect to that those individuals from those associations are coming to the congress tomorrow to elect a president, treasurer, secretary and a vice president. In the past the Belize Cycling Association was an association and in 2006 some of the same members running on Mr. Leslie's slate were a part of the change to turn that constitution that we have from an association for a federation with still the same name Belize Cycling Association."

The election is set for tomorrow afternoon at the Aguada restaurant in Cayo. That gives Moreno home court advantage because he is from Cayo.

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