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

Kris Seeburn kseeburn at
Sat Jun 18 04:34:59 UTC 2011


I pretty much agree, that the points have been made and we need to move on.
Nevertheless ensuring n+1 candidate is quite a challenge, as this is and
will be a major concern over the next  few years yet to come. NomCom is
always trying it's best to get more people but the interest remains very
minimal from candidates. Sometimes, like last year we were worried not to
have even one candidate and we were thinking what next (What next is not
defined within the bylaws and would surely imply a NomCom decision or Board
­ but it is not defined anywhere).

I think the proposal here is to come up with a clear cut policy on elections
of PDWG / NRO etc., which caters for one candidate issues and even on
situations of refusal of candidates by community and also if we do not have
a candidate what will be the next steps forward. These are not written
anywhere and still is a real challenge and will be if we continue on having
less and less interest.

For each and everyone this has been a major lesson to be learned which is
good governance practices and community voice. I do think a proposal on this
also needs to be made towards the election of these positions as we tend to
use the straight off bylaws of Afrinic for the board to tackle the elections
for all. I would tend to think and say fine at this point we all agree that
NomCom could have done a better job but we do not have clear process that
still creates a flux.

Maybe I could again suggest we take note and work on a policy proposal for
future taking on recommendations from all as we normally do and have it

If we can agree on this then perhaps we can surely get community views
together for the coming up of a policy on this so that we are all pretty
much agreeable to the process. One note though we can never anticipate all
the potential happenings in the future but I guess the point is made over
the last few threads.


From:  Owen DeLong <owen at>
Date:  Fri, 17 Jun 2011 16:03:43 -0700
To:  Walubengo J <jwalu at>
Cc:  Krishna Seeburn <kseeburn at>, "sm+afrinic at"
<sm+afrinic at>, "rpd at" <rpd at>
Subject:  Re: election controversy? - Re: Handover to new PDWG co-chairs

> Walu,
> I don't think this sets a precedent outside of these unique circumstances.
> Personally, I would think the better solution would be to require the NomCom
> to recruit at least n+1 candidates for each election. With such a requirement,
> these circumstances can't be repeated.
> I agree the NomCom could have handled the situation better and I think getting
> community confirmation of the result is a good idea. However, I think that's
> been well stated and it is time to move on. I doubt the NomCom will repeat
> this error anytime soon.
> Owen
> On Jun 17, 2011, at 1:44 AM, Walubengo J wrote:
>> @Owen,
>> Initially, I also thought it was "much ado about nothing" given the fact of 2
>> candidates, 2 positions, one of which already requested by one the
>> candidates.  So why go through the empty motions of voting(by acclamation,
>> secret ballot, show of hands or whatever)  when the outcome is obvious?
>> One member of the community told me the problem lies not in the recently held
>> PDWG elections. But in future elections where a precedent set today maybe
>> used (abused?) in future elections. E.g  NomComm may present candidates and
>> declare results immediately - even where prevailing circumstances dont
>> exactly justify - after all the community will already have been
>> "conditioned" to such a procedure and may fail to detect anything...
>> I liked what Krishna did last year in Joburg when we I think we had only one
>> candidate for the ASO rep; he still went through the (empty?) motions and
>> this had the effect of "community participation" even though the outcome was
>> obvious. Maybe something the Board will need to document since there's
>> nothing explicitly written on what to do when technically there's "no
>> competition" given that current rules presumed and provided for what to do
>> when there is competition(many candidates)...
>> walu.
>> --- On Thu, 6/16/11, Owen DeLong <owen at> wrote:
>>> From: Owen DeLong <owen at>
>>> Subject: Re: election controversy? - Re: Handover to new PDWG co-chairs
>>> [AfriNIC-rpd]
>>> To: "Kris Seeburn" <kseeburn at>
>>> Cc: "sm+afrinic at" <sm+afrinic at>, "rpd at"
>>> <rpd at>
>>> Date: Thursday, June 16, 2011, 10:25 PM
>>> I wasn't there, either, but, this sounds like "Much ado about nothing" to
>>> me.
>>> It seems that the NomCom saw that there were 2 candidates. That one of two
>>> candidates had declared himself as running strictly for the 1-year term.
>>> Since there is no "none-of-the-above" or write-in (as I understand it) in
>>> such
>>> an election, what purpose would have been served by the time and trouble
>>> of conducting an election?
>>> While I agree that a democratic process is important, in a situation where
>>> you
>>> have only 2 eligible candidates for two electable positions and one of the
>>> candidates has self-selected for the shorter term, it seems to me that any
>>> election beyond that would be purely theatrical and not democratic in
>>> nature.
>>> As I understand it, the following is not in dispute:
>>>     +    The PDPWG co-chairs were properly nominated
>>>     +    One of the co-chairs stood for election only to the shorter term
>>>     +    There was no possible different outcome from an election under
>>>         the circumstances
>>> It seems to me that the only dispute arises from the fact that the NomCom,
>>> recognizing these facts chose to skip the theatrical election and deliver
>>> the
>>> (obvious) result without the pomp and circumstance.
>>> Personally, I think the community has better uses of their time pursuing
>>> real
>>> issues such as IPv6 deployment or the fact that only 2 candidates stood for
>>> election rather than getting wrapped around the axel about a shortcut to the
>>> process which was inconsequential in nature and would not have been taken
>>> were there any chance of a different outcome.
>>> Owen
>>> On Jun 15, 2011, at 2:23 PM, 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?
>>>> > 
>>>> > Kris Seeburn
>>>> > 
>>>> > On Jun 15, 2011, at 11:05 PM, sm+afrinic at
>>>> <x-msg://11/mc/compose?>  wrote:
>>>> > 
>>>>> >> At 07:57 AM 6/15/2011, gift wrote:
>>>>>> >>> Nomcom is not sure how the issue of the election has come up during
>>>>>> the hand over process.
>>>>> >> 
>>>>> >> Dr Paulos asked about the legitimacy of the PDWG Co-chairs.  I
>>>>> congratulated
>>>>> >> Dr Paulos B Nyirenda and Tim McGinnis on their election previously (
>>>>> ).  I have also
>>>>> mentioned that I do not have any issue with the appointment of the two new
>>>>> PDWG co-chairs (
>>>>> >> 
>>>>>> >>> 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
>>>>> >> 
>>>>> >> As Tim McGinnis was participating remotely, he probably knows what
>>>>> happened during the PDWG election part of the open public policy meeting.
>>>>> Trevor Mwangi raised an interesting point about remote participants
>>>>> registering their protest (
>>>>> ).
>>>>> >> 
>>>>>> >>> 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."
>>>>> >> 
>>>>> >> The quoted text does not include any suggestion that "members were
>>>>> denied their voice at the meeting".
>>>>> >> 
>>>>>> >>> 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.
>>>>> >> 
>>>>> >> There isn't any "membership" for the PDWG.  "It is expected that the
>>>>> NomCom will oversee all open elections conducted by AfriNIC during a given
>>>>> year, namely Board Seats, Policy Working Group Chairs and NRO-NC
>>>>> representatives".  "A democratic election" is not about displaying the
>>>>> list of candidates on a slide and announcing the results within a few
>>>>> seconds on the next slide (
>>>>> ift%20Shava%20-%20PDWG%20co-chairs%20election.pdf ).  Fortunately,
>>>>> participants came to the microphone and objected to that.
>>>>> >> 
>>>>> >> I don't think that the community has a need for a "democratic and
>>>>> corporate governance system".  If Frank and Andrew can agree on whether
>>>>> questions are constructive (
>>>>> ), Sunday Folayan
>>>>> can walk to the microphone and have his objections taken into account,
>>>>> Graham Beneke and Trevor Mwangi can ask questions without being present at
>>>>> the meeting, J. Walubengo and Mark Elkins can come to the microphone like
>>>>> any other participant, it is left to the community to appreciate whether
>>>>> it is an open and fair process where people can discuss and reach
>>>>> consensus.
>>>>> >> 
>>>>> >> It is up to the community to determine whether the message posted at
>>>>> written by Gift
>>>>> Shava, Arbogast Fabian and Hago Dafalla is a fair representation of the
>>>>> events.
>>>>> >> 
>>>>> >> Regards,
>>>>> >> S. Moonesamy
>>>>> >> _______________________________________________
>>>>> >> rpd mailing list
>>>>> >> rpd at <x-msg://11/mc/compose?>
>>>>> >>
>>>> > _______________________________________________
>>>> > rpd mailing list
>>>> > rpd at <x-msg://11/mc/compose?>
>>>> >
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> rpd mailing list
>>> rpd at <x-msg://11/mc/compose?>

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