Plans to transfer control of Internet overseer ICANN from US hands to a globally representative body could be jeopardized unless a deal is reached before the 2016 US elections, the group’s chief warned Monday.

Fadi Chehade, chief executive of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, said opponents of the new oversight system may be deliberately trying to delay the transition set for September 30.

“ICANN has been waiting for this political window to open for 16 years,” Chehade told AFP as the group began a four-day meeting in Singapore.

“We don’t know what factors could affect the political window,” he said, adding however that “we do know that in 2016 there is a heavy political process in the United States”.

“Therefore the oxygen that is available to certain items may be very easily consumed by the electoral process.”

The next US presidential election and related polls for Congress and state governors will be held on November 8, 2016.

ICANN is in charge of assigning Internet domain names and the numbering codes that lie behind online addresses. It has been overseen by the US government since it

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