Todt’s team accused of vote-buying

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

A member of Jean Todt's team allegedly offered ??2,280 for a vote

A supporter of Jean Todt has been accused of trying to buy a vote for the FIA president candidate.

Surinder Thatthi, one of Todt’s seven nominees for sport vice president, is alleged to have offered to arrange payment for the FIA subscription fee for the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs in Uganda, but only if the club agreed to vote for Todt.

An article in today’s Mail on Sunday claims:

Thatthi told [president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs in Uganda Jack Wavamunno] a sponsor had been found to pay the ??2,820 outstanding from the FMU?s subscription to the FIA.

Wavamunno said: “Surinder Thatthi said it would not be in the interests of me, or the FMU, if I stood against him for the WMSC and the FMU did not vote for Jean Todt. I felt it was a veiled threat. In the second call, he said he was aware there was money outstanding from the FMU?s subscription to the FIA and he had a sponsor who could pay that, but only on the condition that I withdrew my candidacy and we gave our vote to his candidate, Todt.”

Thatthi, who represents the Automobile Association of Tanzania, was one of the three stewards who controversially stripped Lewis Hamilton of his Belgian Grand Prix win last year.

Thatthi also famously criticised world rally champion Sebastien Loeb for bringing the FIA into disrepute by having a beard.

These allegations follow earlier claims that FIA officials have been lobbying for Todt in violation of FIA rules.

Todt’s opponent Ari Vatanen has already appealed to the French courts asking for assistance in ensuring the elections are carried out fairly.

Read more: The bitterly-fought FIA presidential election is too important to ignore