Real confirm Calderon is only provisional president

July 24, 2006

MADRID, July 24 (Reuters) - Real Madrid have said president Ramon Calderon only holds his position on a provisional basis pending the outcome of a legal ruling on the validity of the postal vote from the club's election.

'Real's electoral commission... have agreed to consider the naming of Calderon and his board as provisional as requested by Juan Miguel Villar Mir,' the club said in a statement on their website on Monday.

Villar Mir was one of the four rival candidates in the presidential election held on July 2.

Two days before the vote a judge backed complaints from two candidates that the postal vote should be temporarily suspended due to the lack of controls in place to guarantee their legitimacy.

Calderon was named president of the nine-times European champions on July 3, beating Juan Palacios by 246 votes and third-placed Villar Mir by 1,642.

Palacios has formally recognised Calderon as president and withdrawn from contention but Villar Mir is fighting to have the postal vote included, though he has said he will respect all decisions made by the board in the meantime.

Up to 10,000 postal votes are reported to have been excluded from the count though it is unclear how many of these can be validated, or classed as redundant after the voter went to vote in person instead.

Spanish media have reported that it could take up to eight months before a final decision is reached.