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Carlos Nuzman has confirmed his candidature for the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) Presidency here today in a race set to conclude with a General Assembly on April 27 and 28 in Montevideo.

The Brazilian Olympic Committee head said that he can confirm his intentions now his responsibilities as President of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee are over.

"I would like to state officially that I would like to state my candidature for PASO Presidency," he said at an Extraordinary General Assembly of the continental body.

He told insidethegames afterwards that he would not release his ideas for the Presidency until he has drafted a manifesto.

There are now five candidates intending to stand.

Others in contention are St Vincent and Grenadines Olympic Committee general secretary Keith Joseph, St Lucian International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Richard Peterkin, Dominican Republic's José Joaquín Puello and Chilean Olympic Committee President Neven Ilic.

Uruguayan Julio Maglione, who also leads the International Swimming Federation, has been acting as interim PASO President since the death of longtime leader Mario Vázquez Raña in February 2015.

The timeframe towards an April election is controversial because current PASO Statutes stipulate that elections must be held in the year following the Pan American Games, so in 2016.

A new PASO constitution was not formally approved until today, with the three month candidature process expected to begin soon after.

This made a February election likely, something that had already been criticised at another Extraordinary General Assembly held in Brasilia in May due to it violating the statutes.

An even later time-frame of April has now been proposed because, it was claimed today, IOC President Thomas Bach had expressed a wish to attend and this was the only period in which he would be able to do so.

Nuzman and Argentine Olympic Committee President Gerardo Werthein were among those to back Maglione's proposal today.

Others were critical, however, with a delegate from St Lucia highlighting how it clashes with a Commonwealth Games Regional Forum.

But motions both for the time and the date were then passed by acclamation.

It begins what can be expected to be a fascinating electoral process over the next five months.

An informal meeting of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), chaired by interim Trinidad and Tobago's President Brian Lewis, took place directly after the General Assembly.

insidethegames revealed in May how the three candidates from the region - Joseph, Peterkin and Puello - are aiming to collectively unite behind one contender out of the trio by January 15.

It is then hoped that CANOC will endorse this one figure at their Extraordinary General Assembly scheduled for Barranquilla, Colombia in February.

Lengthy debates and disagreements today, however, showed that reaching a consensus is unlikely to prove simple.

"Regardless of our differences in view it is important that we get past this election and continue to work together for the benefit of the region," Lewis said.

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