CHARTER

CHARTER of the Association of Asian Election Authorities

Preamble

This charter establishes an organization to be known as the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA), hereinafter referred to as the Association. The mandate for such action is expressed in the resolutions passed by participants of the Symposium on Asian Elections in the Twenty First Century held from January 26 29, 1997 in Manila, Philippines.

Mission

The mission of the Association is to provide a nonpartisan forum in the Asian region for the exchange of information among election authorities to discuss and act upon ways to promote open and transparent elections with the objective of supporting good governance and democracy.

Chapter I - Objectives

Article 1.1

The Association shall have the following objectives:

  1. Promotion of open and transparent elections through an exchange of experiences and information relating to election law and procedure, technology, administrative practice, and voter education;
  2. Promotion of the principle of independent and impartial election authorities and administrators;
  3. Development of professional election officials with high integrity, strong sense of public service, knowledge and experience of electoral process, and commitment to democratic elections;
  4. Promotion of the principle of participation in electoral processes by citizens, political contestants, and non partisan civic organizations; and
  5. Development of resources for election related information and research.

Chapter II - Membership

Article 2.1

  1. Election authorities shall be defined as the national bodies responsible for matters relating to the conduct of elections, voter registration, and/or boundary delimitation;
  2. Membership of this organization shall be non partisan and not affiliated with any political parties; and
  3. There shall be the following categories of membership:
    1. Full members shall be national election authorities from the Asian and Australasian region subscribing to this charter. In cases where countries have more than one election authority as defined in Article 2.1.a., these authorities must vote as a single delegation and shall have one vote per country;
    2. Associate members shall be other individuals who support the charter of the Association. Associate members shall be non voting;
    3. Honorary members shall be individuals or organizations cited by a vote of the membership for extraordinary contributions to the democratic election process. Honorary members shall be non voting; and
    4. Affiliated organizations which support the charter cited by vote of the membership may observe and contribute to the Association but do not have voting privileges as a body.

Article 2.2

  1. The General Assembly shall establish additional rules of admission and maintenance of membership;
  2. The General Assembly shall establish membership fees for the various membership categories;
  3. Individuals and organizations may apply for a category of membership to the Executive Board which will examine the application and make a recommendation to be circulated among members of the General Assembly. The General Assembly will vote to accept or reject the application;
  4. Any election authority applying for membership shall, without reservation, subscribe to the charter of the association;
  5. A member of the Association may leave the Association after due written notification of its decision;
  6. Failure to pay dues and fees agreed upon by the membership may lead to a lapse of membership by the organization or individual. Members may be expelled for due cause upon a vote of a quorum of the full voting membership; and
  7. Membership may be neither refused, terminated, nor altered in status or name, for reasons of politics, ideology, or nationality.

Article 2.3

For the purposes of membership of this Association, Asia shall include the Asian and Australasian regions.

Chapter III - Organs and Their Functions

Article 3.1

The association shall have the following organs:

  1. The General Assembly;
  2. The Executive Board; and
  3. The Secretariat.

Article 3.2

The General Assembly shall:

  1. Be the supreme organ of the Association;
  2. Be composed of all its voting members;
  3. Meet at least once every two years;
  4. Elect its own chairperson and vice chairperson from among its membership who shall also serve as chairperson of the Executive Board, until the next meeting of the General Assembly; and
  5. Establish its own rules of procedure.

Article 3.3

  1. Each member of the General Assembly shall have one vote;
  2. One third of the voting members shall constitute a quorum; and
  3. Decisions shall be adopted by consensus, or, if consensus is not possible, by a simple majority of voting members present.

Article 3.4

The General Assembly shall consider issues of common interest and adopt decisions in accordance with the provisions of this Charter and its own rules of procedure. It shall in particular:

  1. Consider proposals or questions of common interest submitted by its members, the Executive Board or the Secretariat;
  2. Adopt the policy, and approve the program of work of the Association and the main items of the agenda of its forthcoming meetings;
  3. Approve appropriate fees and contributions for the categories of membership;
  4. Receive and consider the reports on the work of the Association; and
  5. Appoint an auditor and consider the auditor's report.

Article 3.5

The Executive Board shall be composed of:

  1. The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the General Assembly;
  2. The Executive Secretary (non voting, Article 3.10);
  3. Three full members elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years; and
  4. The General Assembly shall endeavor to ensure that membership on the Executive Board reflects geographical and gender diversity within Asia and Australasia.

Article 3.6

The Executive Board shall:

  1. Be accountable to the General Assembly;
  2. Act on behalf of the General Assembly on any matter referred to it by the General Assembly;
  3. Make recommendations to the General Assembly in conformity with the present Charter;
  4. Take actions to implement decisions of the General Assembly;
  5. Approve the budget and operations of the Secretariat and the auditor's report in the operation of the budget;
  6. Approve the internal rules and regulations of the Secretariat;
  7. Determine control mechanisms for supervising the financial activity of the Secretariat;
  8. Oversee the Secretariat in implementing the decisions and recommendations of the General Assembly;
  9. Perform other functions arising from the present Charter and from the recommendations and decisions of the General Assembly; and
  10. Act on matters which need to be addressed in the period between the meetings of the General Assembly.

Article 3.7

The Executive Board shall:

  1. Meet once a year and shall hold extraordinary meetings when convened by the Chairperson; and
  2. Establish its own rules of procedure subject to direction from the General Assembly.

Article 3.8

The Secretariat is the permanent organ of the Association. It shall perform the functions assigned to it in the present Charter and shall carry out the duties entrusted to it by the General Assembly and the Executive Board.

Article 3.9

The International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), a private, non profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., shall serve as the Secretariat of the Association until otherwise determined by the General Assembly. IFES may relinquish this position upon notification in writing to the Executive Board with ninety days advance notice.

Article 3.10

The Secretariat shall be composed of the Executive Secretary and other personnel as may be necessary for the execution of the functions entrusted to it. Unless otherwise determined by the General Assembly, the Executive Secretary shall be a person designated by the Secretariat and approved by the Executive Board and shall serve as the Secretary of the Board, with voice but not vote. During the temporary absence or disability of the Executive Secretary, other personnel shall be designated to perform his/her duties. The Executive Secretary shall:

  1. Perform functions assigned to it by the General Assembly or the Executive Board;
  2. Submit an annual report on the Association's activity and its financial condition to the Executive Board;
  3. Abide by the rules and procedures for operation established by the Executive Board;
  4. Serve as chief operating officer of the Association;
  5. Report to the Executive Board as requested; and
  6. Represent the Association in its relations with the officials of member institutions and other regional electoral associations as well as with other international and regional organizations.

Article 3.11

The Executive Secretary and the personnel of the Secretariat shall not seek nor take instructions from any Government or from any authority outside the Association and shall refrain from any action that may be incompatible with their position as representatives of the Association or that may compromise the integrity of the Association.

Article 3.12

The Secretariat shall be responsible for the administration and financial affairs of the Association and shall inter alia:

  1. Submit reports on the Association's activity and its financial condition to the regular sessions of the Executive Board and at any time upon request;
  2. Prepare arrangements for meetings of the General Assembly and the Executive Board;
  3. Make recommendations concerning the work of the Association for consideration by the appropriate organs of the Association;
  4. Prepare and disseminate surveys, studies, information and guidance on legal and political matters essential for broadening and deepening cooperation among member institutions;
  5. Draft proposals and agreements on matters arising from the decisions and recommendations of the General Assembly and the Executive Board;
  6. Prepare the budget of the Association and, upon the approval of the Executive Board, submit it to the General Assembly;
  7. Serve as the depositary of the Association's documents and official records;
  8. Establish relations of cooperation, in accordance with decisions reached by the General Assembly and the Executive Board, with other regional and international electoral organizations or any other organizations which are concerned with electoral processes;
  9. Notify members of the dates of meetings of the General Assembly, the Executive Board, and of all events open to the membership; and
  10. Prepare minutes of the General Assembly meetings.

Article 3.13

  1. The budget of the Association shall be financed by contributions of the members, to be determined by the General Assembly; and funds solicited by the Secretariat, on behalf of and with the approval of the Executive Board, from external sources;
  2. The Secretariat may accept, on behalf of the Association, any gifts, contributions, or bequests to the Association, subject to the approval of the Executive Board; and
  3. The Secretariat shall be responsible for maintaining and managing the financial accounts on behalf of the association.

Chapter IV - Miscellaneous Provisions

Article 4.1

The members of the Association agree to:

  1. Implement, to the extent practicable, the recommendations and decisions adopted by the General Assembly;
  2. Render to the Association and its officers the assistance needed in the execution of their duties as defined by the present Charter to the extent practicable;
  3. Provide material and information necessary for the maintenance of a resource center of election related materials;
  4. Keep the Secretariat informed of progress made in the implementation of the recommendations and decisions adopted by the General Assembly; and
  5. Make appropriate contributions for the operation of the Association as determined by the General Assembly.

Article 4.2

  1. The Charter shall not affect the rights and obligations of the members of the Association arising out of agreements which they have already concluded;
  2. Any agreement already concluded or which may be concluded in the future between a member and any other organization shall not be binding on the other members;
  3. Members of the Association that wish to establish closer relations of cooperation than those provided for in the Charter may conclude agreements to that effect, provided that they do not violate the spirit and intent of the Charter;
  4. The Charter shall not affect the right of Association members to interact, cooperate and form associations on a sub-regional basis;
  5. It is not the intent of the Association to interfere with the sovereign concerns of countries represented in the full membership; and
  6. This Charter is an agreement among electoral authorities and does not have treaty status.

Article 4.3

  1. The Association may establish and maintain relations with other regional and international electoral organizations. The nature and forms of such relations shall be determined by the Executive Board in agreement with the organizations concerned;
  2. The Association may invite other organizations or individuals which are not members of the Association to participate in the deliberations of the Association as observers. The Executive Board must approve the conditions of cooperation with other organizations and individuals; and
  3. The Association may, upon invitation, participate in the deliberations of other organizations.

Chapter V - Amendments

Article 5.1

  1. Amendments to this Charter document shall be adopted by at least two thirds of the full members voting in person or by prior written instruction to the Chairperson at a meeting of the General Assembly;
  2. Amendments must be sponsored by at least three full members or be approved by the Executive Board in order to be considered by the General Assembly. Amendments must be communicated to the full membership at least 60 days before the General Assembly meeting;
  3. The Executive Board shall report to members the implications of proposed amendments at least three weeks before the meeting where the amendments shall be considered;
  4. Amendments to the Charter shall come into force upon approval by the General Assembly per requirements of Article 5.1.a; and
  5. Any dispute regarding the interpretation of the present Charter shall be settled by a majority vote of the Executive Board unless otherwise overturned by a two thirds vote of the General Assembly.

Amendments to Charter as recommended by Executive Board and approved by General Assembly 2014

  1. It was decided by consensus that the General Assembly will meet at least once every two years (in place of at least once every three years) and the Executive Board shall be composed of three full members elected by the General Assembly for a term of two years (in place of three years) as per amendments to Article 3.2 and Article 3.5 respectively.
  2. Established new provisions whereby the host of the General Assembly shall be Chair of AAEA and the Head of the Election Authority to host the next General Assembly shall be Vice-Chair.
  3. Executive Secretary of the Secretariat to be designated by the Chairperson and to take part in EB meetings without vote.

Chapter VI - Dissolution

Article 6.1

  1. This Association may be dissolved by a resolution of the General Assembly. Such resolution of dissolution must be adopted by at least two thirds of the full members voting in person or by prior written instruction to the Chairperson at a meeting of the General Assembly; and
  2. Upon such dissolution, the General Assembly shall further decide concerning the disposal of the assets and the payment of liabilities of the Association. Assets will be transferred to an organization of similar interests.

Chapter VII - Transitional Provisions

Article 7.1

The present Charter shall come into force immediately after its adoption by five members. All election authorities which were invited to the Symposium on Asian Elections in the Twenty First Century shall be eligible for membership.