Naturists Campaigning for Naturism

Ivo Re-elected as INF President

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.

we make no apology for re-publishing a cartoon that illustrates the situation so well.

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.

8 Responses to Ivo Re-elected as INF President

  • Sounds very much like a BN meeting.

    • Is it? It has been some 10 years since I let my BN membership lapse.

  • Sounds like a total farce to me. I wonder who we can get to play Ivo in the TV series?

  • Hi Reg,

    Thank you for the informative update on proceedings at the INF meeting, boy does it make for some sorry reading. This behavior appears to be endemic in the Austrian culture, if you should lose an election then cry foul and restart the process. See this article from The Telegraph.

    The only difference with this one is that all the candidates remain in the running and don’t have to declare their intention to seek election or resubmit manifestos! Whereas INF seem to have some strange regulation that they do?

    • It is an observation you are able to make Chris, I cannot possibly comment. As I have stated, member federations will need to make a decision about what they want to do next, if anything, but I believe the level of incompetence shown here is quite shocking.

  • The question now is : Will BN have the bottle now to leave INF? I am putting this question to the BN membership in October via a motion to do so at the AGM. Already people are advancing the decades old argument that ‘it is better effect change from within’, whilst ignoring the fact that change just doesn’t happen at INF however hard you try. BN’s International Offcier, Nick Caunt, has done everything humanly possible in the last 4 years to get effective change, but still it doesn’t happen. Stephane Deschanes of Canada resigned from the INF board last year over the same things, and 11 Federations formally objected to INF mismanagement and corrupt practices – but were ignored.
    INF has not changed and will not change. BN is in an ‘abusive marriage’, and the only things to do is to walk away. The only thing stopping BN is the timidity of some people who seem to like being bullied.

  • My concerns around the INF aren’t around Sieglinde Ivo or any other individual on their Committee but their objectives and actions. If the INF isn’t fighting to promote and protect the legal rights of naturism through active campaigning and protest what is the point of it. I really don’t see how we can continue to support an expensive talking shop and social club.

    • That is one view Juliette, but when thought about, the people who are best placed to campaign for naturism in each country are the national federations. That does not mean an international association of these federations to co-ordinate action or to act as an information hub, is not needed. That way the ‘talking’ becomes essential. However, we agree, there is no need for an exclusive social club, allowing INF President and Vice-presidents to travel the world at other people’s expense.

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