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openSUSE:Board election rules

tagline: From openSUSE

The openSUSE board has currently six seats: Five members get elected by the community and an appointed chairperson.

The next board election will take place in the end of 2013, with four seats open for election.

The openSUSE board approved the following rules in November 2010. A simple update replacing references to Novell with SUSE was made October 10, 2011.

Election rules

The election of the openSUSE Board will be done using the following rules:

Policy

Size:

The board consists of six members: five seats are elected by the Members of openSUSE Project and a chairperson is separately appointed by SUSE.

Term:

The openSUSE board term is in general two years but might be shorter in some cases.

Chairperson:

To provide continuity to the organization, the chairperson shall be appointed and replaced at SUSE's discretion.

Elections:

Elections are held annually (in December). There may be ad-hoc elections as necessary between the annual elections.

Company affiliation:

To help ensure that the board will always represent the diversity of the openSUSE community, no single organization or company can control more than 40 percent of the electable board seats.

Good faith:

Members of the openSUSE board shall act on behalf of all openSUSE contributors in the best interest of the openSUSE project. Although board members may be affiliated with companies or organizations that have an interest in the success of openSUSE, they will not be considered representatives of the companies or organizations with which they are affiliated.

Procedure

Voting:

Only openSUSE members members may vote, each member having one ballot that has one vote per seat to be elected.

The eligible candidates who receive the most votes fill the vacant seats. The elected members are assigned in descending order of number of votes. The two year term seats are filled first, and then the one year term seats.

Election Committee:

The election is run by an Election Committee that consists of at least three openSUSE members. The Election Committee is appointed for each election by the board.

Constitution:

A new board's term should start on the first of January, the elections should be finished 14 days before. In the case of delays, the new board will start 7 days after the election results are published. Appointed board members or members elected during ad-hoc election will start 7 days after appointment or election results are published.

Nominations:

The election committee will take self-nominations, nominations by others and can nominate people for election. The election committee will contact the nominated people and ask them whether they are willing to stand for election. These nominations are private until accepted by the nominated people.

Insufficient Nominations:

In the event that the number of eligible candidates is less than or equal to the number of vacant seats, the voting period will be delayed by two weeks. A public message will be sent out to ask again for candidates.

In the event that the number of eligible candidates is still less than or equal to the number of available seats, voting occurs as normal but each candidate needs to have more than 50 per cent yes votes to be elected.

Tie:

In the event of a tie for the final seat(s) on the board, the election committee will schedule run-off elections between the tied candidates within one week, with a voting period of one week to resolve the tie.

In the event of a tie during the run-off elections, the newly elected board - or the previous board, if fewer than 50 per cent of the seats have been filled - will appoint candidates running in the run-off elections to fill the vacant seats.

Continuity:

It is desired to "roll over" about half of the seats with each regular election.

Before the election, the election committee defines how many vacant seats are "one year term" seats and how many vacant seats are "two year term" seats.

One year term seats will only be defined if there would be fewer than two seats to be filled at the following annual election. In this case the number of one year seats is calculated so that two seats will have to be filled at the following annual election.

Appointment:

The sitting board is allowed to appoint new members to fill a board vacancy caused by one of the following conditions: 1) resignation of a Board member or 2) the removal of a Board member, or 3) a Board member being unable to perform his duties, or 4) as part of elections if not enough people are elected.

In the case that some seats do not get filled at an election, the new board will appoint board members as necessary until the next election.

Ad-hoc elections:

Instead of opting to appoint more than one board member, the board may opt to call for new board elections for the vacant seats. These board members will then be elected for the current election period and the next period – thus until 31st of December of the next year.

Eligibility and Validity

Eligible candidates:

Only openSUSE members may stand for election and be elected to the Board.

Election committee:

None of the Election Committee are eligible for election as an openSUSE board member while serving on the Election Committee.

Eligible voters:

Only openSUSE members may vote.

Resignation:

Any person who has resigned from the Board or has been removed from the Board is not eligible for nomination or appointment for or during the next Board election period.

Restanding:

openSUSE board members can serve for up to two consecutive election periods. After that they must stand down for at least one election period, but may run again after the one election period break.

Appointed members:

Appointed board members are required to stand down and might seek election at the next election.

Company affiliation:

In the event that individuals affiliated with a company or organization hold more than 40 per cent of the electable seats, affiliates from that corporation will be required to resign until fewer than 40 per cent of electable seats are controlled by that company or organisation.

Individuals affiliated with a company or organization are people who are employees, officers, or members of the board of directors of an organization; or have a significant consulting relationship; or own at least 1 per cent of the equity or debt, or derivatives thereof, of a company.

Affiliation during election:

A candidate is not eligible to be voted onto the board if their election would mean that a company or organization hold more than 40 per cent of the electable seats. In this case their election and these votes are void.

Other Rules

Removal of Chairperson:

The elected board members can appeal to SUSE to have the chairperson replaced.

Resignation:

A member of the board may resign their current position by giving written notice to the chairperson. The board should appoint a new board member or call elections to fill the vacancy.

Removal:

In the event of repeated absence without contact, or other serious misconduct or negligence, a Board member may be subject to removal. Before any other process occurs, the Board member in question will be personally contacted by the chairperson to try to resolve the situation. If this contact does not successfully resolve the situation, the Board member in question may be removed by a vote of 2/3s of the other board members. The board should appoint a new board member or call elections to fill the vacancy.

Repeated absence includes missing three consecutive board meetings without sending regrets, not answering emails on the board mailing list for more than a month, or missing more than 10 meetings.

Forced re-election:

If 20 per cent or more of the openSUSE members require a new board, an election will be held for the complete elected Board seats.

Amendment:

Changes by the election rules can be made by a vote of the board where 2/3s or more approve it including the chairperson or by a vote of the membership where 2/3 or more of the openSUSE members participating in the vote approve it.


Past elections