The scrutineers where scrutinizing so hard they are still squinting, the counters were counting (and re-counting), Counsellor Penny Walker, as chairperson of the convention, kept imploring the tellers to not actually look at the ballots because they didn’t need to use their own eyes, they could just look through the eyes of the UHJ!
Thankfully they paid her as much attention as those kitschy drapes behind the main stage. And the results:
Farzam Arbab, Kiser Barnes, Peter Khan, Hooper Dunbar, Firaydoun Javaheri, Paul Lample, Payman Mohajer, Shahriar Razavi, and Gustavo Correa.
I’m shocked! SHOCKED I tell ya!!
Who could have ever imagined this surprising upset?
All seven incumbents: re-elected. And in place of the two retirees? who are the two new entrants?
Both previous members of the International Teaching Center – in turn previously appointed by the Universal House of Justice.
By the way, since usually the names are announced in descending order of votes, we can see that the two new ITC, oops! I mean UHJ members are the ones with the least votes.
I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read this excerpt from the official Baha’i News Service:
During the voting, a number of procedures were taken to ensure the integrity of the balloting process – some of which were visible and others less so.
Foremost, the current Universal House of Justice was seated as a body, front and center, as obvious observers to the process.
Yes! What a strategic technique to insure integrity and remove any hint of electioneering or campaigning! Sitting prominently in visual range of everyone who is about to cast a ballot. That is the best way not to influence anyone in any way to vote for the incumbents.
I’ve put together the membership details of the Universal House of Justice from its inception, up to and including this new election. The details include the individual members, when they were elected, how long they served, how they departed (death or retirement) and what their prior position was within the Baha’i Administration:
I’ve hastily scribbled some thoughts below the data. You are welcome to study it and arrive at your own. Especially one which contradicts mine.
For those taking note, the trend that many had observed within the membership, namely moving away from National Spiritual Assembly (NSA) members to International Teaching Center (ITC) is now complete.
This is the first year – please mark it down on your calendar – that all of the members of the Universal House of Justice have been plucked from the ITC.
Which, I need not remind you, is itself appointed by the UHJ. So we now have come full circle. A bit like recycling I suppose. Hey, I’m all for helping the environment and recycling. Except in this case, what is being recycled, in a closed loop, are ideas.