Bernie Ecclestone cleared of influencing elections in Valencia, with Formula 1 announcement

Thursday, 21 June 2007

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The Valencian Electoral Commission has ruled that Bernie Ecclestone’s announcement that a Formula 1 Grand Prix in Valencia was contingent on the present government’s re-election did not constitute part of an electoral campaign.

The Socialist party had demanded that Ecclestone face charges for the announcement he made at the Valencia Opera House, during the America’s Cup, final Round Robins, leading up to the Louis Vuitton Cup. He said that he dealt with people, not institutions, and would only allow Valencia to hold a street circuit Grand Prix if mayoress Rita Barberá and president Francisco Camps were to be re-elected; Ecclestone also told BYM News that his selection of Valencia would never have happened but for the America's Cup.

At the time, socialists also demanded that the Commission ordered Barberá and camps to abstain from participating in events connected with bringing Formula 1 to Valencia, throughout the electoral period, but the Commission took no action and has now, officially, stated that the Formula 1 presentation was not part of an electoral campaign. It also stated that a freedom of speech clause, in the Spanish constitution, entitled Bernie Ecclestone to make comments about the conditions that would need to be fulfilled, if Valencia were to hold the event.

Cathy McLean 

Photo: Bernie Eccleston outside the Valencia Opera House. Marian Martin/BYM News

Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 June 2007 )