The 2016 General Assembly approved a new Rule in relation to the electoral process.
“AFTER NOMINATIONS HAVE BEEN DECLARED CANVASSING ON BEHALF OF A CANDIDATE OR AGAINST A CANDIDATE IS FORBIDDEN“
At this stage in the process for the election of the 17th President General the names of the three eligible candidates have been announced by the Electoral Board. Since doing so , the Electoral Board has received a number of requests for clarification of what constitutes “ canvassing “
In response, the Electoral Board wishes to emphasize that the conduct of an election for President General should reflect the spirit and traditions of our Society. We are not a political party.
A spirit of fairness, of respect for each other and ensuring equality of treatment for all candidates must prevail. Any event or publication that favours one candidate over another would be regarded as “canvassing “
Of course, members will have their own ideas about who is the best candidate and we have circulated extensive information on each candidate (a Vincentian CV, an Action Plan and a video supplied by themselves ) to assist members to come to a view on this.
The Electoral Board believes that this obviates the need to have any special meetings or debates involving the candidates. It would be wrong in the opinion of the Electoral Board and constitute “canvassing “ to hold meetings of members to which one candidate was invited or his/her merits promoted.
We believe that it is correct for members to rely on what was circulated by the Electoral Board. It treats all candidates equally. Nothing more is required.
The President General personifies the unity of the Society worldwide (International Statute 3.1). The Electoral Board would regard as unacceptable and contrary to the spirit and traditions of the Society any actions in the course of this election that jeopardised that unity. The Electoral Board is vigilant and will act firmly if any canvassing should occur.
T. Joseph PANDIAN
Président du Bureau Electoral
Vice-Président Général International