As we all know PATU elections are different this time. One can certainly see that 2021 is out of the ordinary.


A lot is happening in PATU, as issues with the old ways of the past administrations of Ji Ho Choi and Helder Navarro are being uncovered and reforms are being implemented. With the intervention of the WT interim management committee (IMC) one of the first things that needed to be fixed was the legal structure under which PATU had to operate and conduct its 2021 elections. Years ago, PATU changed its name from Pan American Taekwondo Union (PATU) to World Taekwondo Pan America (WTPA) it did by registering a corporation that was not acceptable under WT and PATU statutes, since the company that had been formed was a for-profit and not a non-profit as mandated.

WTPA no longer represents PATU and the IMC had to re-establish the proper legal format by registering the legal entity of PATU back to its original name and non-profit format. PATU’s status as a non-profit allows it to operate tax-exempt and to use all its funds and resources solely for the promotion of taekwondo in the continent. 

With PATU’s non-profit status re-established and its new statutes adopted where transparency and good governance are key. The next issue to resolve for the IMC is to prepare for perhaps the most eventful elections in its history.

Although there are many doubts about the voting methods and rightly so, since issues with the past administration are still being addressed, WT is trying to clarify as much as possible how the election will work. 

MASTKD was informed in exclusive about the official list of countries entitled to vote in the virtual elections, tentatively in October.

To contextualize: when WT asked interim president Navarro for the Election bylaws with which it would run the upcoming elections, his administration was operating under an entity in violation of PATU statutes and WT.  To this end, WT tried to work with solving the issues of operation and elections by sending a document to follow in which it marked which articles could be modified and which could not.  This is because the World Taekwondo seeks to elevate its status within the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Países y Miembros del Consejo Ejecutivo con derecho a voto en elecciones PATU

Facing difficulties in solving the legal and structural issues that the past administration and the opposition of the current interim president who appeared unwilling or unable to adopt the WT election requirements, left WT with no other option but to intervene.

But… why is this contextualization important?

It turns out that in the proposal or rules established -in the first instance- by the Navarro administration, only 19 National Federations, out of the 45 that make up PATU, would have the right to vote in October.

The selection criteria was that the interim administration based in Colombia, stipulated that to vote, it was necessary to be registered in the official events of 2020 and 2021, which WT flatly rejected and argued that “based on the fact that the pandemic affected many countries around the world and most events in those years were canceled, the right thing to do is to give voting rights to countries with Level I”.

Within the WT ranks, national federations with Level I are those that participated in official events between 2018 and 2019.

As it is, the valid votes for the October elections went from 19 to 26, out of a possible 45. Plus 11 votes of the members of the Executive Council.

Thus, the list is composed as follows

  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Barbados
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Puerto Rico
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Uruguay
  • United States
  • Venezuela

In addition, the members of the PATU Executive Council who are eligible to vote are

  • Juan Manuel Lopez Delgado
  • Maria Borello
  • Mario Mandel Vaisman
  • Francisco Camacho
  • Yeonggi Jeon
  • Hung Ki Kim
  • Ricardo Torres
  • Chuong Pham
  • Inseon Kim
  • Anthony Ferguson
  • Maria de Lourdes De Veer

As of September 1st, the candidates who will run for the next PATU administration will be officially announced.