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

Owen DeLong owen at
Sat Jun 18 09:38:47 UTC 2011

I'm happy to help to the extent my assistance is desired.

I am, however, out of region and recognize that AfriNIC is for Africans, both
in terms of the services it provides and in terms of who should manage the

I tend to be rather opinionated, but, you are certainly welcome to ignore
whatever I say.


On Jun 18, 2011, at 2:07 AM, Kris Seeburn wrote:

> I think we are coming to the point and full agreement that we need some
> written policies/process for elections closely knitted to the mandate of
> the NomCom. 
> I am sure that NomCom will come up with the required recommendations in
> due time. 
> I guess we need to pull a piece of paper and look at the proposal document
> so that within upcoming times if faced with same situation we would know
> how to go about it. But pretty much agree with thread from Owen and Mark.
> As I see,  this is an agreement to work on a process/policy document and
> we would need the input from all to kick this document off. Owen, I am in
> for working together and anyone else to start the work on this.
> Perhaps, we can now change the subject to something else :) like proposal
> for an Elections policy document or the likes.
> Kris
> -----Original Message-----
> From: "mje at" <mje at>
> Organization: Posix Systems
> Reply-To: "mje at" <mje at>
> Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2011 10:54:53 +0200
> To: Krishna Seeburn <kseeburn at>
> Cc: Owen DeLong <owen at>, Walubengo J <jwalu at>,
> "sm+afrinic at" <sm+afrinic at>, "rpd at"
> <rpd at>
> Subject: Re: election controversy? - Re: Handover to new PDWG co-chairs
> [AfriNIC-rpd]
>> On Sat, 2011-06-18 at 08:34 +0400, Kris Seeburn wrote:
>>> @All,
>>> 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 stand to correction but I believe there is something that states for
>> Board members - if there is no one to replace an existing member - then
>> the existing member stays on. The same principal could be extended to
>> other positions?
>> Currently - there is nothing in the NomCom mandate that states they
>> should go out and hunt for volunteers. That could be changed?
>>> 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.
>> I seem to remember that in Johannesburg (Nov 2010) - the community sort
>> of requested (asked really nicely) for both SM and Alan to stay on (or
>> become?) the PDWG.
>> If we can not develop an N+1 policy for elections - then maybe we need
>> to actually state that if the number of volunteers for a position
>> matches the need - that part of any election process becomes redundant?
>>> 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.
>> NomCom could have done a better job. That could in part be blamed on its
>> mandate not being to clear in places - which *is* a change I'd like to
>> see. NomCom is going though a process of self-examination and will come
>> up with its own suggestions - I'd rather not comment any further.
>>> 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 approved?
>>> 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.
>>> kris
>>> 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 [AfriNIC-rpd]
>>>        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 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
>>>>        (
>>> Gift%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
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>>>>> rpd mailing list
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>> -- 
>> .  .     ___. .__      Posix Systems - Sth Africa
>> /| /|       / /__       mje at  -  Mark J Elkins, Cisco CCIE
>> / |/ |ARK \_/ /__ LKINS  Tel: +27 12 807 0590  Cell: +27 82 601 0496

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