Former player of the club won an expressive victory in the election that took 40,085 members to the ballot box of Luz (which corresponds to 808,298 votes), surpassing the record established last year. Official results were released after 3.30 pm on Sunday, after a second count of votes.
Rui Costa is the new top leader of the Benfica universe, after securing an expressive victory (84.5%, corresponding to 33795 voters and 682841 thousand votes) over Francisco Benitez (12.2%, 5043 voters, equivalent to 98923 votes) , in the most contested elections in the club’s history. The former conductor of Luz was approved by a large majority of the partners, succeeding Luís Filipe Vieira in the Direction and, inherently, in the command of SAD. Blank or null votes will have reached 3.3%.
In 117 years of history, Benfica had never lived a day like this. Long, late into the night, with the counting of votes ending at 3.30 am, after a recount of ballot papers in Luz.
The race between Rui Costa and Francisco Benitez for the presidency resulted in the biggest electoral event of all time, with 40 115 members, out of a total eligible of 115 681, exercising their right to vote and surpassing the record that had been set in October last year (38 102), when Luís Filipe Vieira defeated João Noronha Lopes and Rui Gomes da Silva. The fact that the electoral act was carried out only in paper format – and not in the electronic version -, together with the huge turnout, delayed the count and meant that the results were only known in the early hours of this Sunday.
With 25 polling stations spread across the country, attention was naturally focused on Pavilion 2 of the Estádio da Luz and, before the opening of the polls, it was already possible to see that the day was going to be historic. It was still not eight o’clock in the morning and hundreds of people were already lining up, in a scenario that remained throughout most of the day.
List B repudiates Vieira
The day passed practically without incident, except for a moment of heightened tension when the former president voted (see following page). The fact that Luís Filipe Vieira indicated his vote (Rui Costa) while still on the premises, led list B to issue a statement. “To repudiate the declarations of the ex-president of the Board and still a partner, emphasizing that he has just seriously violated article 30, number 2, of the electoral regulations”, it can be read. The article in question states that partners cannot indicate the direction of voting within a radius of 200 meters. The humorist Ricardo Araújo Pereira assumed that he voted for Benitez in the vicinity of the pavilion and was widely criticized.
resignation and succession
After the resignation of Luís Filipe Vieira from the position he held for 18 years, following his arrest in the “Red Card” process, “vice” Rui Costa assumed the interim presidency and asked for the election to be scheduled, where he found the movement’s competition. “Serving Benfica”. The group of members, led by Francisco Benitez, accused the former number 10 of the club of having turned a blind eye to Vieira’s management and presented itself as an alternative, preventing a single-list election.