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Decision No. 883

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April 30 2000
In Re: Request from the Coordinating Council of the Philippines Central Conference As To Whether Delegates to the Central Conference Must Be Elected by a Simple Majority or May They Be Elected by a Simple Plurality.

Digest of Case

The Discipline and the Constitution provide that the actual process for the election of clergy and lay delegates to the General Conference and the central conference is to be determined by the annual conference as long as the constitutionally mandated criteria for such delegates are met.

Statement of Facts

During the regular session of the Central Luzon Philippines Annual Conference April 15-17, 1999, the annual conference members cast many ballots in order to elect delegates to the Philippines Central Conference before voting to change the 2/3 majority requirement for election to first a simple majority and then a simple plurality. At a meeting of the Coordinating Council of the Philippines Central Conference August 13, 1999, "it was acted upon that the Judicial Council be requested for its declaratory statement regarding" this election procedure. Jurisdiction The Judicial Council has jurisdiction under Par. 2616 of the 1996 Discipline. Analysis and Rationale Article III of the Constitution states that "The annual conference shall elect clergy and lay delegates to the General Conference and to its jurisdictional or central conference in the manner provided in this section, Articles IV and V." These two Articles describe the qualifications for a clergy and a lay delegate respectively, but neither Article addresses the manner of the voting procedure for this election. In the matter before the Judicial Council, the Central Luzon Philippine Annual Conference moved to alter its election procedure on two occasions at its annual conference session. On both occasions, appropriate parliamentary procedure was used to make these changes. There is nothing in the 1996 Discipline which would cause the invalidation of the voting procedures used by the Central Luzon Philippines Annual Conference.

Decision

The Discipline and the Constitution provide that the actual process for the election of clergy and lay delegates to the General Conference and the central conference be determined by the annual conference as long as the constitutionally mandated criteria for such delegates are met.

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