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

Alan Barrett apb at
Thu Jun 16 08:41:49 UTC 2011

On Thu, 16 Jun 2011, Kris Seeburn wrote:
> general question here is that : Are we talking about "vice de 
> procedures" or in english "procedural error" ? Sorry people i 
> was not at the elections but am trying to undedstand.
> Perhaps "ashok" can give his legal opinion on this situation 
> despite the fact that the election has been done. Although 
> from what i am understanding....a general question arise : are 
> we questioning the election of the two candidates or are we 
> questioning the mandate that was allotted to the two persons?

We are speaking only of the election of the PDWG co-chairs here; 
the election of the Board members did not cause any controversy.  
Here's a summary of my understanding of the events.

Prior to the meeting, there was a call for nominations, and 
two valid nominations were received (Paulos Nyirenda, and Tim 
McGinnis).  There were no procedural problems here, but it would 
have been better if there had been more nominations.

At the meeting, the candidates were invited to speak.  Both 
were absent, but Tim McGinnis (McTim) had prepared a video 
presentation, which was played.  During the video presentation, 
McTim expressed a wish that Paulos Nyirenda be elected for a 
two-year term and that he himself be elected for a one-year term.

Soon after the video presentation, and without holding any public 
vote, the NomCom anounced the result of the election:  Paulos 
Nyirenda for a two-year term, and Tim McGinnis for a one-year 

I objected, saying that even if the result was obvious, we should 
nevertheless hold an election.  I said that I would be satisfied 
with a show of hands instead of the usual secret ballot.

The AfriNIC legal advisor, Ashok Radhakissoon, said that what the 
NomCom had done was legitimate.

Several participants at the meeting said that they wanted to see 
an election.  If my memory is correct, then the only people who 
said that a public election was not necessary were the legal 
advisor and members of the NomCom.

Finally, the audience was asked to vote on the proposition that 
Paulos Nyirenda be elected for a two-year term, and Tim McGinnis 
for a one-year term.  I saw many votes in favour, and no votes 

At the time, nobody spoke out to say that such a vote is not 
a real election, although I am sure that many people had that 
thought.  (A real election is not "are you for or against this 
result?", it's "which of these candidates do you prefer?")

--apb (Alan Barrett)

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