We are returning to INF matters, as we have been told after a two-hour chaotic, sometimes acrimonious, meeting held on Saturday 22 July, Sieglinde Ivo was re-elected as President of the International Naturist Federation (INF).
In the wake of the World Congress in New Zealand, November 2016, NAG began to point out what could best be called mismanagement within the INF; it would be comic, if it wasn’t so tragic. In many ways words and phrases like: “piss up” and “brewery” come to mind.
Following Saturday’s meeting we were given detailed information about what occurred and our concerns continue to deepen even further:
At the beginning of the meeting the chairman still could not add up the votes correctly, stating it was 209 until a delegate at the meeting pointed out his mistake and got agreement from the other delegates that it was 193.
We have already posted on this particular concern, but in summary: the chairman then proceeded to give the results of a Legal Council meeting held on 25 May 2017, which included one Sieglinde Ivo among its members. Even if Ivo acted with good faith, her inclusion in this meeting should not have been allowed, it is a clear conflict of interest. Anyway, as a consequence of decisions made on that day only one candidate was left standing, Sieglinde Ivo.
In addition, NAG is confused about the status of Saturday’s meeting. It was understood from the documents that have already come our way, this was to be a reconvening of the General Assembly from New Zealand, it’s only purpose was to re-run the vote for president. There Armand Jamier’s candidature had, rightly or wrongly, already been decided, therefore the Legal Council’s meeting in May was not necessary. So was this an Extraordinary General Assembly instead? None of the INF’s senior management was explicit on this.
Despite having only one candidate to vote for, we have been told that at least one delegate asked for a secret ballot. The mechanism for this ballot, devised by the chairman, was that a figure one (1) placed by her name would be counted as a vote for Ivo, a zero (0) as an abstention, and unmarked ballot papers would not be counted. This meant no one could vote against Sieglinde Ivo. When the result was announced it turned out 94 voted for Ivo, 42 abstained and 61 ballots were left blank. In other words, 94 voted for Sieglinde Ivo and 103 did not, the same number that voted for Jamier back in November. Also these figures add up to 197 and not 193 agreed earlier; a repeat of the issue that began this whole sorry saga.
Earlier in the proceedings, delegates raised the issue of the Legal Council’s legitimacy, explaining that there was a vote for committee membership in 2012 and 2014, and as a consequence they believed the term of office was two years. There was no vote in 2016. The chairman correctly quoted from the Statutes that the term for Legal Council members is four years (we’ve checked) but that only raises a further question in our minds: which of the two votes held in Croatia (2012) or Ireland (2014) is invalid? If it is 2014 then a vote should have taken place in 2016. Either way, in our opinion anyone who joined the Legal Council as a result of an invalid vote in either 2012 or 2014 means any subsequent decision by the Legal Council that that person took part in is also invalid.
In her acceptance speech, Sieglinde Ivo has already told us that her programme of works will be delayed, allegedly because of the extra work placed on her by the New Zealand General Assembly. It seems to us that Ivo is getting her excuses for inaction in early and our expectation for international naturism to advance over the next four years is very low.
NAG includes members of British Naturism (BN). As BN is a member federation of the INF they will, no doubt, be deciding what to do next, while NAG itself will remain silent on this occasion. Other member federations will have a similar decision to make and while our influence is negligible, we hope they will give our opinions the weight they deserve.