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codexalimentarius > Committees > Executive Committee > Elections and Appointments > Chairperson and Vice Chairpersons

Election of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons

Eligibility and Period of Office

    Rule III.1

    The Commission shall elect a Chairperson and three Vice-Chairpersons from among the representatives, alternates and advisers (hereinafter referred to as “delegates”) of the Members of the Commission; it being understood that no delegate shall be eligible without the concurrence of the head of his delegation. They shall be elected at each session and shall hold office from the end of the session at which they were elected until the end of the following regular session. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons may remain in office only with the continuing endorsement of the respective Member of the Commission of which they were a delegate at the time of election. The Directors-General of FAO and WHO shall declare a position vacant when advised by the Member of the Commission that such endorsement has ceased. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons shall be eligible for re-election twice, provided that by the end of their second term of office they have not served for a period of more than two years.

VOTING RIGHTS

VOTING RIGHTS

Each Member of the Commission has one vote:

    Rule II.3

    A Member Organization may exercise on matters within its competence, in any meetings of the Commission or any subsidiary body of the Commission in which it is entitled to participate in accordance with paragraph 2, a number of votes equal to the number of its Member States which are entitled to vote in such meetings and present at the time the vote is taken. Whenever a Member Organization exercises its right to vote, its Member States shall not exercise theirs, and conversely”. 

    Rule III.4

    A Member Organization shall not be eligible for election or designation, nor to hold office in the Commission or any subsidiary body. A Member Organization shall not participate in voting for any elective places in the Commission and its subsidiary bodies. Members of the Commission are those Member Nations of FAO or WHO which have notified either the Director-General of FAO or of WHO of their wish to be Members of the Commission. In accordance with the Rules of Procedure, only participating Members of the Commission can nominate or vote during the Session.

    Rule VIII.1

    Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Rule, each Member of the Commission shall have one vote. An alternate or adviser shall not have the right to vote except where substituting for the representative.

    Rule I.2

    Membership shall comprise such eligible nations as have notified the Director-General of FAO or of WHO of their desire to be considered Members of the Commission.

QUORUM FOR VOTING

QUORUM FOR VOTING

The quorum for the conduct of elections in the Commission is the majority of the Members of the Commission attending the session, provided that such a majority is not less than 20% of the total membership of the Commission, nor less than 25 Members.

The relevant Rule of the Commission is as follows:

    Rule VI.7

    The majority of the Members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the purposes of making recommendations for amendments to the Statutes of the Commission and of adopting amendments of, or additions to, the present Rules in accordance with Rule XV.1. For all other purposes the majority of the Members of the Commission attending the session shall constitute a quorum, provided that such a majority shall be not less than 20 percent of the total membership of the Commission, nor less than 25 Members. In addition, in the case of amendment or adoption of a proposed standard for a given region or group of countries, the quorum of the Commission shall include one third of the Members belonging to the region or group of countries concerned.

NOMINATION PROCEDURE

NOMINATION PROCEDURE

No formal procedure for the nomination of candidates to hold office in the Commission has been laid down in the Rules of Procedure of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. In accordance with Rule VIII.7 of the Commission, the provisions of Rule XII of the General Rules of FAO apply mutatis mutandis. However, in accordance with Rule XII.5 of the General Rules of FAO, the appointing body shall determine the nomination procedure. The Commission has previously agreed that nomination forms should not be distributed in advance of the Commission’s sessions, but should be available to Members of the Commission on request at the commencement of the session from the Election Officers appointed by the Director-General of FAO. Only nomination forms returned to the Election Officers will be regarded as valid.

TYPES OF VOTE FOR A DECISION (OTHER THAN AN ELECTION)

TYPES OF VOTE FOR A DECISION (OTHER THAN AN ELECTION)

The General Rules of FAO provide for three types of vote: by show of hands, roll call or secret ballot.

According to Rule VIII.4 of the Commission, any Member of the Commission may request a roll-call vote, in which case the vote of each Member shall be recorded.

Votes by roll call are conducted under the provisions of Rule XII.7 of the General Rules of FAO.

    (a) Subject to the provisions of paragraph 10 of this Rule, a vote by roll call shall be taken either upon request of a delegate or representative, or if a majority of two-thirds is required by the Constitution or these Rules. Voting by roll call shall be conducted by calling in English alphabetical order the names of all Member Nations entitled to vote. The name of the first nation to be called shall be designated by lot drawn by the Chairperson. The delegate or representative of each Member Nation shall reply "Yes", "No", or "Abstention". At the conclusion of any roll call, the name of any Member Nation whose delegate or representative failed to answer shall be called again. The vote of each Member Nation participating in any vote by roll call shall be inserted in the record of the meeting.

    A vote on a decision can also be decided by secret ballot if the Commission so determines (Rule VIII.5 of the Commission refers, see below).

ELECTION BY GENERAL CONSENT OR SECRET BALLOT

ELECTION BY GENERAL CONSENT OR SECRET BALLOT

The Rules of Procedure of the Commission prescribe that elections shall be decided by secret ballot except where the number of candidates does not exceed the number of vacancies. In this latter case, the Commission may decide to proceed by means of clear general consent.

The relevant Rule of the Commission is as follows:

    Rule VIII.5

    Elections shall he decided by secret ballot, except that, where the number of candidates does not exceed the number of vacancies, the Chairperson may submit to the Commission that the election be decided by clear general consent. Any other matter shall be decided by secret ballot if the Commission so determines.

ELECTIONS TO FILL ONE ELECTIVE PLACE

ELECTIONS TO FILL ONE ELECTIVE PLACE

The election for the appointment of the Chairperson of the Commission is conducted under the provisions of Rule XII.11 of the General Rules of FAO, which reads as follows:

    In any election for one elective place, other than that of the Director-General, if a candidate fails on the first ballot to obtain a majority of the votes cast, successive ballots shall be taken at such time or times as the Conference or Council shall decide, until a candidate obtains such a majority, provided that in an election for one elective place in which there are more than two candidates, the candidate having received the lowest number of votes at each ballot shall be eliminated.

ELECTIONS TO FILL MORE THAN ONE ELECTIVE PLACE

ELECTIONS TO FILL MORE THAN ONE ELECTIVE PLACE

In the case of the elections of the three Vice-Chairpersons of the Commission, Rule XII.12 of the General Rules of FAO applies, except with respect to the quorum provisions which are those contained in the Rules of Procedure of the Commission, as explained in paragraph 4 above.

The relevant Rule is as follows:

    Rule XII.12

    In any election to fill simultaneously more than one elective place, the following shall apply:

    (a) (i) In the Conference a majority of the Member Nations of the Organization and in the Council two-thirds of the Members of the Council shall constitute a quorum. (ii) More than one half of the number of Members casting valid votes shall constitute the required majority.

    (b) Each elector, unless he wholly abstains, shall cast one vote for each elective place to be filled. Each vote shall be cast for a different candidate. Any ballot paper which is not in conformity with these requirements shall be declared defective.

    (c) The candidates who receive the largest number of votes shall be declared elected in a number equal to the number of elective places to be filled, provided they have received the required majority defined in subparagraph (a)(ii) above.

    (d) If only some of the elective places have been filled after the first ballot, a second ballot shall be cast to fill the remaining elective places, under the same conditions as the first ballot. This procedure shall continue until all the elective places have been filled.

    (e) If, at any stage during the election, one or more vacant places cannot be filled because of an equal number of votes having been obtained by two or more candidates, a separate ballot shall be held among such candidates to determine which of them shall be elected, in accordance with the provisions of subparagraph (c) above. Such procedure will be repeated as necessary.

    (f) If in any ballot no candidate receives the required majority, the candidate that receives the smallest number of votes in that ballot shall be eliminated.

DEFINITION OF VOTES CAST

DEFINITION OF VOTES CAST

Under the General Rules of FAO only affirmative or negative votes count as “votes cast” for calculating the majority required. Abstentions and defective ballots are not counted in the calculation of the majority.

Rule XII.4(a) of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    (a) For the purpose of the Constitution and these Rules the phrase “votes cast” shall mean affirmative and negative votes, and shall not include abstentions or defective ballots.

DEFINITION OF ABSTENTIONS

DEFINITION OF ABSTENTIONS

Abstentions are recorded only for those who specifically indicate that they are abstaining. In the case of a secret ballot, a blank ballot paper or one marked “Abstention” by the voter is an abstention. Failure to vote does not count as a formal abstention.

Rule XII.4(b) of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    Abstentions shall be recorded:
    (i) in a vote by show of hands, only for those delegates or representatives who raise their hands in response to the Chairman’s request for abstentions;
    (ii) in a roll call vote, only for those delegates or representatives who reply “Abstention”;
    (iii) in a secret ballot, only for such ballot papers deposited in the ballot box as are either blank or marked “Abstention”;
    (iv) in a vote by electronic means, only for those delegates or representatives who indicate “Abstention”.

DEFINITION OF DEFECTIVE BALLOT

DEFINITION OF DEFECTIVE BALLOT

In the case of a secret ballot, a defective ballot paper is one:

  • with votes for more candidates than vacancies;
  • with votes for persons or places not validly nominated;
  • in multiple elections, with less votes than places to be filled;
  • with any notation or mark not necessary to indicate the vote.

However, subject to the above any ballot paper shall be considered valid if the intention of the voter is clear. 

Rule XII.4 (c) of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    (i) Any ballot paper carrying votes for more candidates than there are vacancies to be filled, or carrying a vote for an individual, nation or locality not validly nominated, shall be considered defective.
    (ii) In the case of an election to fill simultaneously more than one elective place any ballot paper carrying votes for less candidates than there are vacancies to be filled shall also be considered defective.
    (iii) The ballot paper shall carry no other notation or mark than those required for the purpose of indicating the vote.
    (iv) Subject to (i), (ii) and (iii) above, a ballot paper shall be considered valid when there is no doubt as to the intention of the elector.

METHOD OF CONDUCTING A SECRET BALLOT

METHOD OF CONDUCTING A SECRET BALLOT

Appointment of tellers

Rule XII.10(c) of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    (i) For the purpose of a secret ballot the Chairman of the Conference or Council shall appoint two tellers from among the delegates or representatives, or their alternates. In the case of a secret ballot for an election, the tellers shall be delegates or representatives, or their alternates, who are not parties directly interested in the election;
    (ii) The duties of the tellers shall be to supervise the balloting procedure, count the ballot papers, decide on the validity of a ballot paper in any case of doubt, and certify the result of each ballot;
    (iii) The same tellers may be appointed for successive ballots or elections.

Ballot papers

Rule XII.10(d) of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    Ballot papers shall be duly initialled by an authorized officer of the secretariat of the Conference or Council. The elections officer shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with this requirement. For each ballot only one blank ballot paper shall be given to each delegation entitled to vote.

Voting booths

Rule XII.10(e) of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    For a vote by secret ballot, one or more voting booths shall be set up, supervised in such a manner as to ensure complete secrecy of the ballot.

Replacement of invalidated ballot papers

Rule XII.10(f) of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    Should any delegate invalidate his ballot paper, he may, before leaving the precinct of the polling booths, request a new blank ballot paper, which shall be delivered to him by the elections officer on the surrender of the invalidated ballot paper. The invalidated ballot paper shall remain in the custody of the elections officer.

Attendance at counting of votes

Rule XII.10(g) of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    Should the tellers withdraw from the presence of the delegates or representatives in order to carry out the count of the votes, only the candidates or scrutineers appointed by the candidates may attend the count, but they shall not take part in the count.

Protection of secrecy of ballot

Rule XII.10(h) of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    Members of delegations and of the secretariat of the Conference or Council who are responsible for the supervision of any vote by secret ballot shall not disclose to any unauthorized person any information which might tend, or be presumed to tend, toward destroying the secrecy of the ballot.

Custody of ballot papers

Rule XII.10(i) of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    The Director-General shall be responsible for the safe custody of all ballot papers until the elected candidates take of office or for three months after the date of the ballot, whichever is the longer period.

Postponement of balloting in an election

In an election the Conference may postpone second or subsequent ballots.

Rule XII.13(b) of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    At any stage in an election after the first ballot has been held, further balloting may be postponed by the Chairperson with the concurrence of the Conference or Council.

RAISING OF POINTS OF ORDER DURING A VOTE

RAISING OF POINTS OF ORDER DURING A VOTE

 

A vote may be interrupted only on a point of order which is in connection with the voting. Rule XII.14 of the General Rules of FAO applies and reads as follows:

    Once voting has commenced, no delegate or representative may interrupt the voting except to rise to a point of order in connection with the voting.

CHALLENGING THE RESULT OF A VOTE OR ELECTION

CHALLENGING THE RESULT OF A VOTE OR ELECTION

Procedure and time limit for challenging the results of a vote or election are set out in Rule XII.15 of the General Rules of FAO, which read as follows:

    1. Any delegate or representative may challenge the result of a vote or election.
    2. In the case of a vote by show of hands or roll call vote, should the result be challenged, the Chairperson shall cause a second vote to be taken forthwith.
    3. A vote by show of hands or by roll call may be challenged only immediately after the result has been announced.
    4. A secret ballot may be challenged at any time within three months of the date upon which it took place or until the elected candidate takes office, whichever is the longer period.
    5. Should a vote or election by secret ballot be challenged, the Director-General shall cause the ballot papers and all relevant record sheets to be re-examined and shall circulate the result of the investigation, together with the original complaint, to all Member Nations of the Organization or of the Council, as appropriate.
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