RULES FOR THE ELECTION
TO THE ZIONIST CONGRESS
APPROVED BY THE PRESIDIUM OF THE
ZIONIST GENERAL COUNCIL
AND THE ZIONIST EXECUTIVE
AT THEIR MEETING ON MARCH 22, 1976,
AND AS AMENDED BY
THE ZIONIST GENERAL COUNCIL,
SEPTEMBER 1981, JUNE 1987, JUNE 1991,
JUNE 1997, JUNE 2004, AND
THE DEPARTMENT FOR ZIONIST ACTIVITIES
THE WORLD ZIONIST ORGANIZATION
RULES FOR THE ELECTION OF DELEGATES
TO THE ZIONIST CONGRESS
The Central Elections Board
(a) The Central Elections Board will be set up no later than nine months before the Congress. The Chairman of the Central Elections Board will be an Israeli judge or retired judge, who will be appointed by the President of the Zionist Supreme Court. All the other members of the Committee will also be appointed by the President of the Zionist Supreme Court.
(b) Groupings that participated in the previous Congress are entitled to participate as observers and will be invited to all meetings of the Central Elections Board.
(c) In addition to he matters in its authority under these Rules, the Central Elections Board will discuss and decide if in a certain voting area omissions are discovered in election preparations, or if difficulties are met, or if an impasse arises.
(d) All the organizations and lists in the voting area that were represented at the last Zionist Congress or that wish to be represented at the upcoming Zionist Congress may appeal the decision of the Central Elections Board to the Zionist Supreme Court, within two weeks of the decision.
The Establishment of the Area Election Committee (in areas in which a Zionist
Federation [hereinafter Federation] is in existence):
(a) The Governing Executive Body of the Federation may serve as Area Election Committee (hereinafter AEC) in accordance with Art. 20, Sec. 2 of the Constitution, provided that all Zionist bodies and groups functioning in the area concerned are represented on it.
(b) Unless the Governing Executive Body of the Federation has assumed the functions of the AEC in accordance with the provisions of the preceding section, the Governing Executive Body of the Federation shall set up, no later than 12 months before the opening of the Congress, an AEC in which all Zionist bodies and groups operating in the area concerned at the time of the establishment shall be represented. The Governing Executive Body shall determine the total number of members of the AEC.
(In areas in which no Federation is in existence.):
(c) The Governing Executive Bodies of Zionist Territorial and Inter-territorial Associations shall set up no later than 12 months before the opening of the Congress, an AEC in which all Zionist bodies and groups operating in the area concerned at the time of its establishment shall be represented. The convening Executive Bodies shall determine the total number of members of the AEC.
(d) In those countries which have over 500,000 people entitled to vote, the Area Election Committee shall be set up no later than a year and a half prior to the Congress.
The Composition of the AEC
(a) In areas represented at the preceding Congress by two or more delegates and where the tasks of the AEC are not discharged by the Governing Executive Body, the AEC shall be composed in accordance with the composition of the delegation of the electoral area concerned at the preceding Zionist Congress subject to modifications in accordance with the findings and/or rulings of the Zionist Supreme Court.
However, every Zionist Body and group which has duly submitted nominations lists or nominated candidates shall have one representative on the AEC in an advisory capacity, even if such body or group was not included in the delegation at the preceding Zionist Congress. WIZO shall have one representative in an advisory capacity.
(b) In areas represented at the preceding Zionist Congress by one delegate, the Governing Executive Body of the Federation shall assume the functions of the AEC.
However, every Zionist body and group which has duly submitted nomination lists or nominated candidates shall have one representative on the AEC in an advisory capacity, even if it was not included in the delegation at the preceding Zionist Congress. WIZO shall have a representative in an advisory capacity.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of the two preceding sections, no body or group shall be entitled to more than 50% of the seats on the AEC.
Chairman of the AEC – Intervention of Central Election Board
(a) The AEC shall elect a Chairman from among its members.
(b) If no AEC has been duly set up, the Central Election Board shall appoint an AEC or an Election Commissioner with the powers of an AEC.
The Functions and Members of the AEC
(a) The AEC shall be responsible for preparing and carrying out Congress elections in the respective electoral area including establishing and operating Local Election Committees and Polling Stations Committees, and for reporting on the elections to the Executive, the Central Election Board and Zionist Supreme Court.
(b) Only persons entitled to vote and to be elected to Congress in the electoral area may be members of any Election Committee.
Right to Vote
(In areas in which a Zionist Federation is in existence):
(a) Every Jew who has reached the age of 18 in the year of the opening of the Congress and is a member in good standing of the Zionist Federation shall be entitled to vote to Congress as set out in the Regulations for the Membership Drive (Resolution 22 of the Zionist General Council, January 1976).
(In areas in which no Zionist Federation is in existence):
(b) Every Jew who has reached the age of 18 in the year of the opening of the Congress and is a member in good standing of a Zionist Association recognized as a member of the WZO as set out in the Regulations for the Membership Drive (Resolution 22 of the Zionist General Council, January 1976), shall be entitled to vote to Congress.
Every person entitled to vote in Congress elections who has reached the age of 18 in the year of the opening of the Congress and proved to the satisfaction of the Zionist Federation or the Zionist Association, as the case may be, that he has fulfilled his obligations towards the Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal or the United Jewish Appeal in the U.S.A. and to the KKL shall be eligible for election as delegate to the Congress.
Register of Voters
Every person entitled to vote in Congress elections shall be registered in the Register of Voters drawn up in accordance with Regulations enacted by the Central Election Board. Only a person registered in the Register of Voters may vote in the election to Congress.
(a) Subject to any other provision, any resident of a certain election area and registered in its Register of Voters may be a candidate in elections to Congress in that area.
(b) Each candidate for delegate or deputy delegate shall sign the following declaration:
"I hereby declare that I have agreed to be nominated in the elections to the … Zionist Congress on the nomination list (name of list) … in (name of the electoral area) …"
Announcement of the Date of the Elections
(a) The AEC shall publicly announce the date on which polling is to take place no later than 6 weeks prior to the elections.
(b) The elections to the Zionist Congress shall take place no later than 3 months before the opening of the Congress.
(c) The AEC may change the above dates, subject to the approval of the Central Election Board.
Nomination Lists and Nominations to Stand as Candidates
(Common provisions for any election system)
(a) The nomination lists or nominations of candidates shall be submitted to the AEC within a time fixed by it.
(b) Those submitting a nomination list or a nomination to stand as candidate ("sponsors") shall enclose a declaration of assent by the candidates.
(c) The nomination lists of any party or organization, or if a group in a particular electoral area not represented by at least one delegate at the previous Zionist Congress, as well as any personal nomination, shall be signed by persons entitled to vote in the elections to Congress figuring in the Register of Voters in the following numbers:
(1) in areas, in which the number of persons entitled to vote does not exceed 1,000 – 50 signatures;
(2) in areas, in which the number of persons entitled to vote is between 1,000 and 10,000 – 100 signatures;
(3) in areas, in which the number of persons entitled to vote is between 10,000 and 100,000 – 300 signatures;
(4) in areas, in which the number of persons entitled to vote is between 100,000 and 250,000 – 500 signatures;
(5) in areas, in which the number of persons entitled to vote exceeds 250,000 – a number to be determined by the AEC. Such decision is subject to appeal in accordance with the procedure set out in rule 13 (b).
(d) The signatories shall indicate their full names and addresses.
(e) No person shall sign more than one nomination list or a nomination to stand as candidate. If he has signed more than one, all his signatures become invalid.
(f) The nomination lists and nominations to stand as candidate shall be published in all polling stations, in the Jewish press and in any other way which may be decided.
Special Provisions for Proportional Elections
(a) The nomination lists shall bear the name of the party or group to which the candidates belong. If the nomination list is attached to a World Election List, this shall be indicated.
Amendment June 1997
(b) A nomination list will not be called by the name of a faction of the Zionist General Council unless it receives the approval of the faction. For this matter, the name of a faction means also part of a name of a faction or any phrase that could create linkage between the names.
(c) The Central Elections Board may, at the request of a Congress faction, disqualify a name of a list if it may mislead regarding linkage between the new list and the existing faction, whether linkage in the name or any other linkage.
(d) The nomination lists shall contain the names of a number of candidates not exceeding the number of delegates to which the electoral area is entitled and the names of a number of candidates for deputy delegates not exceeding twice the number of candidates for delegates. If an elected delegate has not assumed his function or resigned his mandate after assuming it, he shall be replaced by a deputy delegate in the order in which their names appear on the nomination list.
(e) Nomination lists may be combined for a joint distribution of seats. Notice about combining nomination lists shall be given to the AEC at the time of their submission and be publicly announced by the AEC. Joint nomination lists shall be considered as one single list for the distribution of seats. Within the joint nomination lists, seats shall allotted according to the terms laid down in the agreement when the lists were combined.
(f) Any nomination list, including combined lists, may be withdrawn within a time limit fixed by the AEC, but no later than 15 days before the election date.
Nominations to Stand as Candidates
Special Provisions for Personal Elections
(a) In electoral areas electing one delegate only and in areas electing two or more delegates in personal elections, nominations shall contain the name of one candidate for delegate.
Those submitting the nomination are entitled – but not obliged – to add the names of one or two candidates for deputy-delegates.
(b) Those submitting nominations are entitled – but not obliged – to indicate the affiliation of the candidates for election as delegates or deputy-delegates with a party or organization.
(c) If the affiliation to a party or organization was indicated as stated above, those submitting the nominations are entitled – but not obliged – to attach such nominations to a World Election List. If a nomination is attached to a World Election List, this shall be indicated therein.
(d) If an elected delegate did not assume his function or resigned his mandate after assuming it, he shall be replaced by the first deputy-delegate. If this deputy-delegate too resigns or is unable to assume his function, he shall be replaced by the second deputy-delegate.
(a) In accordance with Article 19 of the Constitution and Regulation 6 of the Regulations for the Implementation of the Constitution, the AEC shall determine the election method no later than 9 months before the opening of the Congress.
(b) All groups and lists represented at the preceding Congress or desirous of being represented at the present one may appeal against the decision on the election method to the Central Election Board within two weeks of its adoption and against the decision of the Central Election Board to the Zionist Supreme Court within a further two weeks.
(c) The AEC may decide on indirect elections (Electoral College) or introduce voting by mail as an exclusive form of balloting, or in addition to voting in polling stations. If the AEC has taken such decision it shall enact Rules for indirect elections or voting by mail, as the case may be, within one month from the adoption of such decision and submit those rules to the Central Election Board for approval.
(d) The AEC shall determine the date on which elections are to take place no later than one month after determining the election method.
(e) Despite the submission of a an appeal in accordance with this Rule, the election procedure shall continue unless a decision to postpone it is taken by the Central Elections Board or by the Zionist Supreme Court, as appropriate, that to continue would create irreparable harm to the appellant.
(a) On the basis of the Constitution of the World Zionist Organization, the Regulations for the Implementation of the Constitution and these Election Rules, each AEC shall issue detailed Regulations for holding elections, and publish them no later than two months before election day. Such Regulations shall include provisions for at least the following:
(1) the right to elect and be elected;
(2) the form of nomination lists or nominations to stand as personal candidates and the place and time for submitting them;
(3) the system of elections and provisions regarding the election of deputy-delegates;
(4) the process of balloting in polling stations, voting outside the locality where the voter is registered – if permitted by the AEC – and doubtful votes;
(5) method of voting and calculation of the election results;
(6) polling records and election returns;
(7) appeals against election results, form of the appeal and time and place for lodging it.
(b) The Executive of the World Zionist Organization shall be entitled to issue Election Regulations for areas in which the AEC has not published such Regulations within the prescribed time, after having been requested by the Executive.
Form of the Elections
The ballot shall be personal, and secret; only a person whose name appears in the Register of Voters is entitled to vote. No one may vote on behalf of another person.
Polling Records and Local Election Returns
(a) The polling records drawn up by the Polling Station Committee and the election returns drawn up by the Local Election Committees shall be signed by the Chairman of the Committee concerned and by at least two members of the Committee belonging to different parties or lists. Any dissenting votes shall be recorded.
(b) The Elections Regulations shall include provisions for further details with respect of the polling records and local election returns.
Results of Proportional Elections
The AEC shall determine the results of the voting as follows:
(a) the total of valid votes cast for all nomination lists in the whole electoral area shall be divided by the number of delegates to be elected and the resulting figure shall be the "election quota";
(b) each list shall receive a number of seats equal to the figure resulting from the division of the votes cast for the list by the election quota;
(c) the "remaining votes" accruing to each list shall be determined as follows: the figures resulting from the multiplication of the election quota by the number of seats that the list received according to the aforesaid, shall be deducted from the total of the votes cast for the list concerned; the nomination lists shall be entitled to one additional seat each, in order of the size of the remaining votes insofar as any seats are left which have not yet been distributed according to the provisions of sec. (b).
Result of Voting in Personal Elections
The AEC shall ascertain the result of the elections as follows:
(a) it shall count and write down the number of valid votes cast for each candidate;
(b) it shall make a list of the totals of valid votes cast for each candidate in the order of their magnitude;
(c) it shall declare as elected appropriate number of candidates listed in the results (section (b)), in the order of places corresponding to the number of mandates allocated to the electoral area concerned.
General Election Report
The AEC shall draw up a general election report on the basis of the local election returns and according to its own findings. The general election report shall be drawn up in at least two copies; one, with copies of local election returns and polling records, original nomination lists, declarations of assent by the candidates and confirmation lists, declarations of assent by the candidates and confirmation about having fulfilled their duty towards the National Funds, evidence that the date of the elections and the terms for submitting lists of nomination were published, as well as nominations to stand as candidate and appeals, if any, and other relevant documents – all of these shall be forwarded to the Organization Department for the Zionist Supreme Court – so that they arrive at least 4 weeks before the opening of the Congress. The general election reports shall be signed by the Chairman and at least two members of the AEC, belonging to different parties or lists. Any dissenting voters shall be recorded.
Elections without Polling Owing to the Submission of one Nomination List Only
Repealed, June 2004; Reinstated, June 2009
If within the time limit for submitting nomination lists or nominations to stand as candidate only one nomination list or nomination conforming to the requirements of these Election Rules and the Election Regulations of the area concerned has been submitted, no voting shall take place and the appropriate number of candidates shall be declared by the AEC as elected delegates and the number of candidates following on the lest as their deputy delegates.
Annulment of Representation Owing to the Absence of a Valid Nomination List
If no nomination list or nomination to stand as candidate was submitted or if one or more were submitted which do not conform with the requirements of these Election Rules and the Elections Regulations of the area concerned, the electoral area shall not be represented in the Congress.
Elections without Polling Owing to External Circumstances
Elections by polling shall not take place in electoral areas with regard to which the Presidium of the General Council has decided by 75% majority, on a proposal by the Executive, supported by a 75% majority of its members, after consultation with the Attorney of the World Zionist Organization and the President of the Zionist Supreme Court, that owing to urgent reasons beyond the control of the Zionist Movement and independent of the will of local Zionist, electoral polling cannot take place. If in such electoral areas an agreement on a united list of candidates has not been reached, the Zionist Supreme Court shall decide how to allocate the seats of the electoral area concerned.
VERSION A (for countries with a Zionist Territorial Judicial Body)
(a) Every voter and everybody who claims to be entitled to vote may lodge a complaint with the Zionist Territorial Judicial Body concerning any instruction issued by the AEC or its interpretation of the Election Rules. Decisions of the Zionist Territorial Judicial Body may be appealed within seven days to the Zionist Supreme Court.
VERSION B (for countries without a Zionist Territorial Judicial Body)
(a) The authorized representatives of nomination lists or nominations to stand as candidate which have been accepted or rejected by the AEC or at least a quarter of the number of voters required to submit a nomination list or a nomination to stand as candidate (rule 10) may lodge a complaint with the Attorney of the WZO concerning any instruction issued by the AEC or its interpretation of the Election Rules.
(b) Notwithstanding a complaint lodged with a Zionist Territorial Judicial Body or the Attorney of the WZO, the election procedure shall go on unless the Judicial Body or the Attorney, as the case may be, decide to stay it on the grounds that otherwise the complainant would suffer irreparable harm.
Lodging of Appeals
(a) Appeals in election matters shall be submitted in writing in seven copies within 21 days from the date of publication of election results to the Secretariat of the Zionist Supreme Court. A copy of the appeal shall be simultaneously submitted to the AEC for its reply.
(b) Each appeal shall be signed by the authorized representatives of a nomination list or nomination to stand as candidate which had been accepted or rejected by the AEC or at least a quarter of the number of voters required to submit a nomination list or a nomination to stand as candidate (rule 10).
(c) Each appeal shall include a statement of the facts on which it is based, a description of the evidence to be produced; as far as possible, written testimonials (affidavits) and other documents shall be enclosed.
Grounds of Appeal
An appeal may be lodged on the following grounds:
(a) In the conduct or the course of the elections a defect was revealed which was liable to influence the results of the elections or the number of votes or the distribution of seats; or
(b) the allocation of seats was not legal.
Special Provisions Regarding Appeals
(a) If an appeal was lodged with regard to the allocation of seats or the determination of remaining votes the AEC may, in accordance with the appeal itself rectify the election results.
(b) If an appeal was lodged with regard to the Regulations of the AEC it may comply with the appeal and change the Regulations.
(c) The AEC shall in either case inform the Executive of such decision without delay.
Exceptions to the Election Rules
In special circumstances the Central Election Board may on proposal of the Chairman of the Board and by 2/3 majority of its members grant exemptions from, or change, certain provisions of the Election Rules provided such exemption or change is not prejudicial to any party, organization or list contesting the election in the area conce