CIPR presidency candidates mull withdrawal following election complaint

Both of the former CIPR presidency candidates may decline to stand again after the election was declared null-and-void this week.

Undecided: Zetter and Ampoma may both not run again
Undecided: Zetter and Ampoma may both not run again

The CIPR has ordered a fresh election after a complaint that APCO senior counsel Lionel Zetter’s winning nomination was wrongly accepted because it was submitted after the deadline.

However, Miticom’s Miti Ampoma has stated that she will not run in the new contest, and Zetter is considering his next steps.

Zetter told PRWeek: ‘I’m disappointed and the 54 per cent of membership who voted for me are also disappointed, but the CIPR council is sovereign.

‘I cannot say whether I’m going to stand for an election for which a date has not yet been decided and which will be held under rules which are yet to be agreed,’ he added.

Ampoma added that she was ‘deeply disappointed and saddened that the CIPR process has not been as transparent as it could have been’.

Ampoma was initially sent a CIPR email in September congratulating her on becoming president-elect. However, Zetter's nomination was received within 24 hours, after which a second CIPR message was sent reversing the first one.

Zetter’s campaign was launched one week after the campaign deadline, but CIPR president Sally Sykes gave Zetter permission to take part.

A complaint was raised after Zetter won the election last month. Regulatory consultant Martin Horrocks then prepared a report that was put to the CIPR council, who decided by a 13 to ten majority to call a re-election.

However, sources have suggested that Horrocks’ report recommended that the existing election be upheld, a claim on which the CIPR has declined to comment.

An election is likely to be launched in the New Year, but with 68 days allocated for each election, it is not likely to be completed until Easter.

CEO Jane Wilson has apologised to both candidates in a letter to PRWeek, stating: ‘In this instance, we did not meet the high standards that our members expect of the CIPR.



Letter in full

Earlier this week, the CIPR council took steps to call a fresh election for the position of 2013 president elect.

I want to apologise to both candidates, who put a tremendous amount of effort into their campaigns, and to all members, particularly those who voted in what they believed to be a valid election. In this instance, we did not meet the high standards our members expect of the CIPR. 

At the close of nominations at noon on 24 September only one candidate had been nominated and they were informed they stood unopposed. A further nomination was submitted after the deadline. The late nomination was received in good faith and flexibility on the deadline was allowed on this basis. The election then proceeded.

In the week following the announcement of the election result, a complaint was made about the decision to allow the late nomination. In line with the CIPR’s election regulations, a report was prepared for council, which voted to take action based on the late nomination and a fresh election has been called. There is no provision in the CIPR election regulations for the deadline for nominations to be appealed.

I am sorry for the reputational damage caused to the CIPR by our original decision. This action is the first step to rebuilding trust in our election process.

Jane Wilson MCIPR, CEO, CIPR

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