UK’s Ben Reid re-elected to ICA board after recount

The revised results, which stem from complications in the voting after an IT failure, see Mr Reid replace Simona Cavazzutti from Paraguay

The results of the election for the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) board members at large have been revised, securing another term for the UK’s Ben Reid, representing Midcounties Co-operative.

Mr Reid had failed to secure a place on the initial count, but has now comes 14th out of the 15 winners, with 384 votes.

The recount means that Simona Cavazzutti, Confederación de Cooperativas Rurales del Paraguay (CONCOPAR), Paraguay, who had secured a place, is no longer successful in the election.

Bruno Roelants, director general of the ICA, said in a message to members that “a number of issues” came up during the vote, the failure of the electronic voting system forcing a switch to a manual vote. He added that this system had been used four times before without hitch and thanked the the ICA Elections Committee for “their very difficult task”.

There was also disruption to language interpretation, he added.

A tight schedule and delays meant that the board election vote was launched before the election for president was announced – which complicated the issue because one candidate, Jean-Louis Bancel from France, was standing for both. This meant that voters by proxy could vote for a 16th candidate with an identifiable sign, to be taken into consideration in case Mr Bancel was elected president.

This led to a dispute over the validity of 64 ballots containing votes for 16 candidates, from members who understood that this was the correct procedure in case Mr Bancel won the presidential election. The Elections Committee first declared these 64 ballots invalid and the results were communicated accordingly, but this has been revised on legal advice.

“What has happened has affected us all and is regretful,” said Mr Roelants. “We are very sorry about it. It has been due, as you can see above, to a combination of different circumstances, none of which has anything to do with our Spanish hosts.”

The revised list of board election winners is as follows:

  • Márcio Lopes DE FREITAS Organização das Cooperativas Brasileiras (OCB) Brazil 600
  • Aditya YADAV Indian Farm Forestry Development Co-operative Ltd. (IFFDC) India 548
  • Attilio DADDA Alleanza delle Cooperative Italiane Italy 539
  • George Magutu MWANGI Kenya Union Of Savings & Credit Co-operatives Ltd. (KUSCCO) Kenya 511
  • Iñigo ALBIZURI LANDAZABAL Confederación Española de Cooperativas de Trabajo Asociado (COCETA) Spain 501
  • Martin LOWERY National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) United States 500
  • Zhenhong CAI All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (ACFSMC) China 497
  • Toru NAKAYA Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives (JAZENCHU) Japan 488
  • Bahman ABDOLLAHI Iran Oilseeds & Vegetable Oil Processing Factories Co-operative (Farda Co-op) Iran 453
  • Krasimir IGNATOV Central Co-operative Union (CCU) Bulgaria 451
  • Marjaana SAARIKOSKI SOK Corporation Finland 400
  • María Eugenia PÉREZ ZEA Asociación Colombiana de Cooperativas (ASCOOP) Colombia 398
  • Kamarudin ISMAIL Malaysian National Cooperative Movement (ANGKASA) Malaysia 397
  • Ben REID The Midcounties Co-operative United Kingdom 384
  • Alexandra WILSON Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada / Coopératives et mutuelles Canada (CMC) Canada 374