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election controversy? - Re: Handover to new PDWG co-chairs [AfriNIC-rpd]

gift gift at
Wed Jun 15 14:57:49 UTC 2011

  Dear Dr. P. Nyirenda, Mr. S. Moonesamy and All colleagues

Nomcom is not sure how the issue of the election has come up during the 
hand over process.

However, since this issue has been brought up publicly, in the spirit of 
transparency, we will endeavor to comment so that the record is placed 
straight and also to give an official version of what transpired to the 
incoming PDWG Co Chairs and other members who were not at AfriNIC 14. 
There are no legitimacy issues arising from the election as a final poll 
was carried without any dissension. It is also incorrect for S. 
Moonesamy to suggest that members were denied their voice at the meeting:

"I hope that any future NomCom will respond to community
feedback instead of ignoring objections from the floor."

There was certainly lively participation from members during the 
elections with some standing up to speak more than two times. The 
original position of Nomcom was that since there were two positions and 
two candidates, with one candidate specifically offering themselves for 
the one year term, and the other candidate not expressing any 
reservations on the two year term, then the situation had resolved 
itself and there was therefore "a no contest". Both nominations were 
perfectly valid and met the criteria. Both candidates were not able to 
attend but one of them sent a video presentation. The candidate 
specifically indicated in the video played at the meeting that he was 
offering himself for a one year term only thereby waiving any interest 
whatsoever in the two year term. Nomcom was of the considered view that 
since these are voluntary positions, it would be improper to compel or 
consider the member who had requested a one year term for a two year 
term.There were no comments on the candidates either positive or 
negative raised from the floor. Technically speaking the position taken 
by Nomcom was not wrong at all as this is the most common way of 
concluding a poll which turns out to be a no contest, a simple 
declaration suffices. The outcome did not predijuce and neither did it 
favour any of the candidates. There mere fact that there were two/few 
candidates  volunteering or nominated for the positions is a reflection 
of the community's democratic choices and screening processes. Nomcom 
also had the backing of legal opinion as expressed by the Legal Counsel 
at the meeting. Nevertheless, Nomcom so good reason in deferring to the 
wishes of the members who in any case  have the final say. In the 
ensuing discussions, a good number of members at the meeting did not 
agree with Nomcom arguing that the committee had failed to give the 
members their right to vote and to allocate the terms to the Co Chairs. 
After listening to all the issues raised the matter was put back to the 
members to determine the way forward and it was agreed to take a vote by 
show of hands, in essence to ratify the position previously put forward 
by Nomcom. A call was also made for those opposing the motion or with 
contrary views to equally raise their hands and there was no dissension. 
The Chair then rightly declared the vote carried and declared the Co 
Chairs duly elected. However, after a momentary lapse, a member stood up 
to speak on the subject of the just concluded election and was ruled out 
of order by the Chair. In fact, speeches from the floor had long been 
stopped prior to taking the vote and the member in question had already 
participated in the discussion. We monitored the reaction of the meeting 
and the member clearly did not have any further visible support from the 
meeting and thus the matter was democratically concluded.

A lot of the issues raised by the members were just options and 
alternatives to reach an election result and not the necessarily the 
rule and yet a lot more were personal opinions and preferences. As far 
as Nomcom is concerned there are no outstanding issues relating to the 
concluded PDWG Co Chair elections as was witnessed during the meeting 
hence the formal announcement by the ACEO. The job of Nomcom is to work 
with the membership to deliver a democratic election and in the process 
to deal with any arising challenges. In the end a member's verdict was 
delivered. We should also accept that what transpired at the elections 
is a learning opportunity to further deepen the community's democratic 
and corporate governance systems. Nomcom will accordingly be making the 
necessary recommendations in its report on the elections.

We hope the above summary helps clarify the matter. As Nomcom has 
concluded its mandate on the PDWG Co Chair elections, we suggest that 
any further issues are likely to be operational should henceforth be 
addressed to the Secretariat and the board.


Gift Shava
For and on behalf of Nomcom2011

On 2011/06/14 12:49 AM, Dr Paulos Nyirenda wrote:
> Mmmmm ... does this mean that there was an PDWG election controversy that may affect the
> legitimacy of the PDWG Co-chairs?
> Did the NOMCOM mess up?
> Any details or explanation on this as raised by SM would help the co-chairs understand
> the environment that they will be working in.
> Regards,
> Paulos
> ======================
> Dr Paulos B Nyirenda
> NIC.MW&  .mw ccTLD
> On Mon, 13 Jun 2011 11:55:03 -0700, sm+afrinic wrote
> Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011
> From: sm+afrinic at
> To: rpd at
> Subject: [AfriNIC-rpd] Handover to new PDWG co-chairs
>> Hello,
>> First of all, I would like to mention that I do not have any issue
>> with the appointment of the two new PDWG co-chairs.  I understand
>> that NomCom faces a difficult task.
>> There were only two nominations for the two seats of PDWG
>> co-chairs.  There has been such a case previously and formal
>> elections were organised to determine the candidates' term.  That is
>> also stated in the Election process:
>>     "The candidate with the highest number of votes shall win a two year term
>>      and the second highest number of votes shall win the one year term."
>> The controversy during the last public policy meeting could have been
>> avoided if NomCom gave the community a choice instead of taking the
>> community by surprise in announcing the election results immediately
>> after providing the list of candidates.  A few meetings ago, I
>> mentioned that the lack of formal elections does not affect the
>> outcome as there is rarely more candidates than open seats.  The
>> community had the option to accept of reject the two nominations last
>> year.  I hope that any future NomCom will respond to community
>> feedback instead of ignoring objections from the floor.
>> There was strong participation during the last meeting.  I note that
>> Graham took the time to participate remotely.  I hope that there will
>> be more remote participation in future.
>> Some people have commented on the participation of the co-chairs in
>> the discussions about the proposals.  The co-chairs can ask questions
>> in an individual capacity.  As you may have noticed, these persons
>> come to the microphone line on the floor and wait for their turn like
>> any other individual when they comment about a proposal.
>> I would like to thank Andrew Alston for making use of Section 5.1 of the PDP.
>> It is suggested that the new PDWG co-chairs follow up on Section 5.2
>> of the PDP.
>> Section 5.3 of the PDP is applicable for the following proposals:
>>     AFPUB-2010-v4-005-draft-04
>>     AFPUB-2011-v4-004-draft-01
>> Section 5.5 of the PDP states that:
>>     "The adoption and implementation date of the policy is announced
>>      on the Resource Policy Discussion mailing list. The implementation
>>      date should be less than six months after the end of the Last Call
>>      unless a waiver is requested."
>> That section is applicable for one proposal that gained consensus (
>> ).  Please
>> note that the clock starts at the end of the Last Call and not when
>> the proposal is ratified to become a policy.
>> During the last term, the PDP, except for sections 5.5, 6 and 7, have
>> been tested and that is documented through this mailing list.  I have
>> avoided setting any procedure that may constrain future co-chairs.  I
>> leave it to the co-chairs to determine how the PDP should be
>> implemented as mentioned in Section 3.2 of the PDP.
>> At the last meeting somebody asked for a french version of the RPD
>> mailing list so that French speakers can participate.  I suggest
>> getting a list of people who are interested in such discussions and
>> asking AfriNIC to host that mailing list.
>> I would like to thank Mukom Akong Tamon, who was the Policy Liaison,
>> and Ernest Byaruhanga.
>> Regards,
>> S. Moonesamy
>> _______________________________________________
>> rpd mailing list
>> rpd at
> Paulos
> ==============================
> Dr Paulos Nyirenda
> Malawi SDNP Coodinator
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> Malawi SDNP Webmail:
> Access your Malawi SDNP e-mail from anywhere in the world.
> ----------------------------------------------------------

Gift Shava
Financial Controller

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