Doug Scott, the BMC's committee member for the UIAA, was instrumental in bringing the no-confidence vote

Doug Scott, the BMC's member on the UIAA committee, was instrumental in bringing the no-confidence vote

The president of the international body for mountaineers is stepping down after a vote of no confidence by the association’s management committee.

Canadian Mike Mortimer will end his presidency of the Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme on 31 December.

Two other executive board members, treasurer Jan Bonding of Denmark and Silvio Calvi of Italy, seen as Mr Mortimer’s closest allies on the board, have also resigned. Mr Calvi will end his tenure on the same date; Mr Bonding resigned from the board two months ago.

The vote took place during the UIAA’s general assembly in Kathmandu in October and follows a move by the Doug Scott, the British Mountaineering Council’s elected representative on the committee, who has been critical of the financial controls exercised during Mr Mortimer’s presidency.

The vote took place after the resignation of board member Rita Christen who left  following her disquiet over the body’s finances.

Fellow committee member Mark Richey of the American Alpine Club and Mick Fowler, president of the Alpine Club, also supported the vote, which grough understands was carried by seven votes to four, with two abstentions.

Swiss Representative, Frank Urs Muller, also backed the move.

Vice-president Jordi Colomer of Spain, secretary-general Nico de Jong of Holland and board member Peter Farkas of Hungary will remain in office until new elections.

These are expected to be organised at the next management committee meeting planned for May 2012 in Hungary. The committee will then make recommendations for a replacement president to the next general assembly to be held in Amsterdam in October next year.

A UIAA website statement said Mr Mortimer, who was born in the UK but raised in South Africa, was unable to chair the general assembly because of serious health problems. Vice-president, Spaniard Jordi Colomer endorsed the actions of the management committee.

Doug Scott, who has been the BMC’s representative on the UIAA for three years, called for more openness in the association’s matters in future. He also expressed alarm at the reported treatment of some staff at the headquarters.

The UIAA’s previous president Alan Blackshaw, a top British civil servant and accomplished climber and mountaineer, helped analyse the Swiss-based association’s finances before the Kathmandu meeting.

Mr Blackshaw, who himself resigned from the post of UIAA president after losing the support of board members in 2005, died in August this year.

Reporting the resignation of the three board members, the Swiss Alpine Club said they were the result of a longstanding crisis within the UIAA. The Swiss organisation said it hoped the German and Austrian mountaineering organisations would rejoin the UIAA following the change in leadership.

The UIAA failed to respond to grough’s repeated requests for a statement.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Frits Vrijlandt elected UIAA president after no-confidence vote in former head
  2. Tearful BMC president Rehan Siddiqui resigns despite defeating no-confidence call
  3. Lynn Robinson elected first woman BMC president as members vote for new structure
  4. British Mountaineering Council members urged to vote ahead of crucial meeting