08 August 2007

Voting on voting, or afterthoughts about the ITTO's No. 1 election

Although I marked the election of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) ED as "past" in my calendar, I never mentioned neither the winner, nor the election process. Now, thanks to the IISD's Earh Negotiations Bulletin, here it is.

The contenders included
Efransjah Efransjah of Indonesia, Juan Sève of the United States, Jürgen Blaser of Switzerland, Ricardo M. Umali of the Philippines and Joachim Müller of Germany, with the latter absent during the election (?).

I did previously mention the first candidate, Emmanuel Ze Meka of Cameroon; he remained a favourite throughout the election and eventually was elected.

The ENB's detailed coverage of the ITTO session, including the candidates' presentations and elections deliberations, can be found here.

Several observations should be emphasized.

Probably, the ITTO's ED election process should be called one of the most transparent in the global leadership selection, ever (perhaps, partly due to the nature and number of members of the body, distribution of votes, etc.).

The tension between the developed and developing countries (or in this case, timber consumers and producers) - as well as division over the candidates representing them and debates on the rules of procedure - was again strikingly evident, with the victory of the South. Compensation for "defeats" in elections of top posts in WB-IMF?

The demand to modernize rules of procedure was obvious here, too - leading to exhausting discussions on a special vote (a vote on whether to vote on candidates) and a straw poll and even to disassociation by some delegations from the election.

Is the UNSG election's straw poll - while not having been applied this time - becoming a bon ton in top international elections?

Another, funny, similarities with the UNSG contest: absence of the German candidate at the ITTO elections reminds
Hammarskjöld and de Cuellar - who didn't know about their elections as UNSGs until after the elections.

Also, does the name
Efransjah Efransjah ring the bells, compare to UNSGs? :)

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