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FIA candidate Ward issues manifesto for change

By Alan Baldwin

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - FIA presidential candidate David Ward called on Friday for better governance and limiting the president's term in office in preparation for what could be a bitter battle with incumbent Jean Todt for the top job in world motorsport.

"The FIA can give the impression of being antiquated and autocratic," the 56-year-old Briton wrote in an "agenda for change" sent to member clubs of the Paris-based International Automobile Federation.

"The powers of the Presidency are too wide to be effective or fully accountable. In some areas the trend for reform has been reversed."

The manifesto listed 20 reforms that included limiting the term in office to two four-year periods rather than three, amending the FIA ethics code and reducing overheads and travel expenditure.

Frenchman Todt, the former Ferrari team principal, was elected in 2009 and has not yet confirmed officially that he will stand for re-election, although it is widely assumed that he intends to.

The vote is scheduled for an FIA General Assembly meeting in Paris on December 6 and Ward put the emphasis firmly on the finances and governance of Formula One's governing body under Todt's leadership.

Ward announced last month that he was standing down as director general of the FIA's independent charitable foundation to challenge for Todt's job.

In order to do so, he will need nominations from 26 FIA member clubs.

Ward said in a separate letter to FIA members that he had been approached by a "wide range" of stakeholders encouraging him to stand.

He added that the role of president was not something he had envisaged or sought and his preferred option would be for the president of a member club to fill the role.

"However, in the absence of another candidate I am interested to stand to promote an agenda of further governance reform," he added.

Ward also proposed investing all excess revenues from a new Formula One 'Concorde Agreement', which is yet to be signed by the FIA, in motor sport safety, sustainability, the funding of development programs and training of officials and volunteers.

(Editing by John Mehaffey)