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Ward pulls out of FIA election, leaving Todt alone

PARIS (AP) — Jean Todt is set to lead motor sport's governing body for another four years after David Ward pulled out of the FIA election on Thursday.

Todt is all but sure to be re-elected unopposed on Dec. 6 because the deadline for entering a new candidate is Friday. Ward announced his decision to stand down after failing to secure enough backing.

"I would like to offer my congratulations to Jean Todt who will secure a second term uncontested if not unopposed," Ward said. Ward's recent decision to challenge Todt in front of the FIA's ethics committee — claiming Todt broke the governing body's rule by collecting letters of support before the election process started — proved fruitless as his complaint was thrown out.

"My candidacy in the 2013 election has not been motivated by a burning ambition to serve as president of the FIA," Ward said. "That is why I have described myself as a reluctant candidate. What I have tried to do is to encourage debate about the flaws that exist in the FIA's governance system. I am satisfied I have succeeded in that."

In September, Ward stepped up his bid to become president by proposing a range of reforms aimed at strengthening the "effectiveness and accountability" of the FIA. Ward has sent a letter to the presidents of all the FIA member clubs, and proposed 20 reforms to FIA in his manifesto entitled "Agenda for Change" — published on his campaign website.

The 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. "For many years the FIA has struggled with governance reform," Ward said. "All too often it takes one step forward and then two steps back. This is clear from the current election which is being run on a shorter presidential list than 2009."

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