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

Kris Seeburn kseeburn at
Sat Jun 18 09:44:51 UTC 2011

I guess opinions as far as adding value and constructive towards positive
changes can always be helpful.

-----Original Message-----
From: Owen DeLong <owen at>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2011 02:38:47 -0700
To: Krishna Seeburn <kseeburn at>
Cc: "mje at" <mje 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

>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,
>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
>> 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
>> 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
>> for working together and anyone else to start the work on this.
>> Perhaps, we can now change the subject to something else :) like
>> 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
>>> 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
>>>> 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
>>>> 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
>>>> Shava, Arbogast Fabian and Hago Dafalla is a fair representation of
>>>> events.
>>>>>>> Regards,
>>>>>>> S. Moonesamy
>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>> rpd mailing list
>>>>>>> rpd at
>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>> rpd mailing list
>>>>>> rpd at
>>>>>        _______________________________________________
>>>>>        rpd mailing list
>>>>>        rpd at
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> rpd mailing list
>>>> rpd at
>>> -- 
>>> .  .     ___. .__      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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