The Fide Elections: Fumey’s Presidential Campaign Flame Fumes Out!

The date for the submission of candidature has passed, four (4) European tickets scaled through, while only the ticket of Fumey Enyonam Sewa (Noel) was rendered void. This was because he was unable to secure a single nomination from an European federation.

FIDE Presidential Aspirant, Fumey Enyonam Sewa (Noel)

This is a sad end for Africa’s first ever aspirant, and speculation is rife as to what might have gone wrong for the Fumey campaign. Why was he the only candidate to not receive a single European nomination? Why would a single continent deny an individual the simple right to contest an election?

The FIDE Electoral Guide:

According to the Electoral Guidelines, Art2.2: “No undue obstacle or restriction to the exercise of electoral rights, both active and passive, must be placed”.

– FIDE Guideline for the 2022 FIDE Elections

Although every member federation has the rights to nominate a candidate or not, fifty-six (56) federations registered with FIDE made the choice to refuse nomination to an individual.

Art. 21.7 is where the issues emanated from, which states that:

“Each ticket must be endorsed by nominations from at least five member federations, among them, at least one from each of the four FIDE continents, but by no more than eight Member Federations in total. Each Member Federation is entitled to endorse only one presidential ticket.”

– FIDE Guideline for the 2022 FIDE Elections

Breaking down the above in a non-technical language:

  1. Each ticket MUST receive nominations from a minimum of five (5) federations, who are members of FIDE.
  2. There are four registered continents with FIDE (Africa, America, Asia, and Europe). Of the five (5) nominations by each ticket, there MUST be at least one (1) from each of the continents registered with FIDE.
  3. Each ticket DOES NOT NEED more than eight (8) nominations for the validity of their ticket.
  4. Each federation is only entitled to nominate one presidential ticket.

With the above information, it is clear what needs executing, to become a presidential candidate for the FIDE elections. Hence, the tussle for nominations must begin before and during campaign.

Fumey Enyonam Sewa (Noel)|Image Credit: Jacinta Odongo

The FIDE motto says Gens Una Sumus, which means, “We are One Family”. In a last ditch attempt to get the European nomination, Mr. Fumey sent a message to all federation leaders titled: “When will Chess become a Global Sport?”

Despite this setback, it has to be noted that Fumey Enyonam Sewa (Noel), with his unprecedented challenge for leadership authority, has opened the gateway for Africans to dream bigger. A son of the soil from Togo, which itself is a relative newcomer to chess Federation (as compared to Egypt, Nigeria, Zambia, et al), has done what older Federations never attempted before.

A time when Noel believed in Mr Arkady Dvorkovich|Image Credit: Jacinta Odongo

He has made himself a sacrifice for the greater African vision. A statement that will echo throughout generations to come.

Having a penchant for the African continent, Fumey Enyonam Sewa (Noel) has therefore decided to pitch his tent with the ticket that has the current Africa Chess Confederation president, Mr Lewis Ncube.

Mr Lewis Ncube|Photo Credit: Jacinta Odongo

This ticket is led by a Russian, who got nomination from the Ukrainian Chess Federation, and has received support from various Federations till date. The ticket is known as “THE BEST MOVE” ticket.

Will this ticket stand the test of the incumbent, or would the Arkady Dvorkovich + Viswanathan Anand ticket be too strong for them?

How will Africa vote in the coming elections? As a block or divided along interest lines?

Would Fumey Enyonam Sewa (Noel)’s stand be emulated in the coming years? Would he be remembered after this election? Would Africa think about this snub by the European federations and develop a working model that will make the world marvel?

Only time will tell.

Gens Una Sumus! Or is it?

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