Election Code of the Uccp

March 29, 2018 | Author: Homar Rubert R. Distajo | Category: Elections, United Nations General Assembly, Voting, Crime & Justice, Crimes


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UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THE PHILIPPINES1667 Dr. Antonio Vasquez Street, Malate, 1004 Manila, Philippines P.O. Box 718, Manila Central Post Of fice, 1099 Er mita, Manila Phone: (0632) 536-8005 Fax: (0632) 536-8114 E-mail: THE ELECTION CODE OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THE PHILIPPINES (UCCP) Approved by the 8th General Assembly, Digos City, Davao del Sur May 24-29, 2006 Presented For Ratification to the 2010 Annual Sessions of the Conferences of the UCCP Proclaim Ratified: _______________ THE ELECTION CODE OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THE PHILIPPINES (UCCP) Rule 1 – General Provisions Section 1. Title. This shall be known and cited as the “Election Code of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.” Section 2. Applicability. These rules shall govern all elections of the officers in all levels or judicatories of the united church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) to the extent appropriate including all referenda, plebiscites and recall. Section 3. Election information dissemination period. The election information dissemination period for National Officers shall commence 180 days (6 months), Conference Officers 60 days (2 months) and Local Church 30 days (1 month) before the first day of the session where an election is to be conducted and end on the day immediately prior to the said election. Section 4. Obligation to register and vote. It shall be the obligation of every qualified member to register and vote. Section 5. Election rules to be available in the polling place. It shall be the duty of Election Committee, which hereinafter shall be referred to as the 1 committee, to provide sufficient copies of these rules, printed in Pilipino, English or in the local dialect, at the place where the elections are to be conducted, in order that they may be readily consulted by any person in need thereof on the election day. Section 6. Postponement of election. The Election Committee, motu proprio or on motion of any interested member, after due notice and hearing, may postpone any scheduled election to another date for any serious cause, such as but not limited to, loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, lack of candidates for a particular position, other analogous causes of such nature that the holding of a free, clean and honest election is impossible or force majeure. The Election Committee shall reset the election at the earliest opportunity upon disappearance of the cause of the postponement. Section 7. Election expenses. The budget of the Election Committee shall be included in the annual budget of the General Assembly or its National Council, Conference or Local Church. In case of deficiency, the same shall be covered by supplemental budget of the appropriate bodies concerned. In consonance with Rule 4, Sections 6, 7 and 8 hereof, all contributions, donations and other funds given by any person to support a candidate or for a general conduct of elections, shall be forfeited and pooled into a common fund for use by the Election Committee to defray election expenses. Section 8. Failure to assume office. Failure or inability of the officer elected to assume office within 30 days following his/her date of assumption of office shall result in the forfeiture of his/her election in which event, the Election Committee shall certify the candidate who garnered the next highest vote and shall declare such candidate duly elected. Rule 2 – The Elections Committee Section 1. Composition and term of office. There shall be an Election Committee which shall be an independent body respectively elected by the General Assembly, the Conference in Session, and the Local Congregation. a.) The National Elections Committee shall be composed of ten (10) members. Six (6) of whom shall come from the six (6) Jurisdictional Areas, each Jurisdictional Area being entitled to one representative elected by the corresponding Jurisdictional Area Cabinet (JAC). The other four (4) members shall be elected at large by the General Assembly or its National Council. No member of the Committee shall be an incumbent National Officer or member of the General Assembly or its National Council. The Chairperson of the Committee shall vote only to break a tie. The members of the National Elections Committee shall serve for a term of four (4) years. In no case shall a member of the Committee serve for more than 2 consecutive terms. ( see footnote) 2 b.) The Conference in Session shall elect the Conference Elections Committee ensuring equal sectoral representation. The Conference Elections Committee shall be composed of five (5) members who shall serve for a term of two (2) years. In no case shall a member of the Committee serve for more than 2 consecutive terms. c.) The Local Church Council shall elect the Local Church Elections Committee ensuring equal sectoral representation. The Local Church Elections Committee shall be composed of five (5) members who shall serve for a term of one (1) year. In no case shall a member of the Committee serve for more than 2 consecutive terms. Section 2. Qualifications of Committee members. All members of the Committee shall possess the following qualifications at the time of their election: a) at least eighteen (18) years of age, b) UCCP member in good standing, not otherwise a candidate, holding any position in the National Church, Conference or Local Church concerned. Section 3. Vacancies in the membership of the Committee. In the event of vacancy caused by the death, permanent disability, resignation or removal from office of any representative in the Committee, the National, Conference or Local Church Council concerned shall immediately elect a replacement to serve the unexpired term. Section 4. Powers and functions of the Committee. The Committee shall have the following powers and functions: a. The exclusive and primary jurisdiction over all matters relating to elections, referenda and plebiscites; .______________________________ Note: It is further proposed that the number of representatives from the jurisdicdtional areas and the members to be elected at large to be kept open to provide representation for jurisdictions to be created in the future, and to maintain the members of the National Election Committee to ten (10). The Annual Conference Sessions may present this amendment. b. Ensuring free, orderly hones, and peaceful elections in the National, Conference or Local Church level consistent with our calling as a community of faith. c. Determining, passing upon and ruling the qualification for election of nominees in accordance with the UCCP Constitution and By-Laws and other church statutes; 3 d. Exercising direct and immediate supervision and control over its personnel who are required to perform duties relative to the conduct of elections; e. Hearing and investigating any election controversy brought before it and after compliance with the requirements of due process, render a decision or resolution at the soonest possible time. In this connection, actions arising from any election controversy or contest shall prescribe after thirty (30) days from the knowledge or discovery of the act complained of; f. Enforcing and executing its decisions, directives, orders and instructions; g. Prescribing the forms to be used in all elections; h. Carrying out a continuing and systematic program to inform the electorate about election rules, decisions and other matters relative to the work and duties of the Committee and the necessity of clean, free, orderly, honest and peaceful electoral processes; and i. Performing such other functions as the UCCP Constitution and By-Laws and the proper Church body/bodies concerned may provide or mandate relative to the conduct of the elections. Rule 3 – Nominations and Certificate of Candidacy Section 1. a. Nomination and Certificate of candidacy. Any qualified person may be nominated for any elective position in the General Assembly, Conference or local Church, upon written nomination by any member of the church or by written declaration of his/her availability for the office. The nomination, written declaration or certificate of candidacy filed must be affirmed before any member of the Elections Committee, the incumbent Conference Council Secretary or Local Church Council Secretary. The Elections Committee shall notify the person concerned of his/her nomination and the latter shall signify his/her acceptance by filing the corresponding certificate of candidacy with the Elections Committee. Section 1. b. No person shall file certificate of candidacy for more than one office in the same election. Section 1. c. No incumbent elective officer whose term is not ending in the same period of election can file a certificate of candidacy for another position. Section 2. Contents of certificate of candidacy. The certificate of candidacy shall state: a) the name of the candidate or nominee; b) the office for which he/she is nominated; c) his/her age, civil status, date of birth, residence, profession or occupation; d) his/her possessing all the qualifications and none of the disqualification for the office prescribed by the UCCP Constitution and By-Laws and other church statutes; and shall attach thereto a certificate as UCCP member of good standing issued by his/her local church senior pastor or church council churchperson. 4 Section 3. Filing of certificate of candidacy. The certificate of candidacy shall be filed within sixty (60) days prior to the commencement of the election information dissemination period. For this purpose, it shall be the duty of the Election Committee to publish, throughout the entire Judicatory concerned, the period for filing of the certificates of candidacy at least forty five (45) days prior to the sixty (60) days for filing the certificates of candidacy by the Elections Committee. The Committee shall not accept any certificate of candidacy outside the period stated above unless an extension of the period has been previously approved. Section 4. Ministerial duty of receiving and acknowledging receipt. The Elections Committee shall have the ministerial duty to receive and acknowledge receipt of the certificate of candidacy. Section 5. Denial of due course to or cancellation of the certificate of candidacy. The Elections Committee may motu propio or upon motion duly filed before it by any member of the General Assembly, Conference or Local Church after due notice and hearing, deny due course to, or cancel a certificate of candidacy exclusively on the ground that any material statement or representation knowingly made therein made by the candidate as required by Section 2 hereof is false. Section 6. Ceremony of Candidacy. In case of National and Conference elections, there shall be a ceremony of candidacy which shall be liturgical, to be held on the day before the elections where all the candidates shall be formally introduced to the General Assembly, or Conference, as the case may be. However, in case of Local Church elections, the ceremony of candidacy shall be done immediately one Sunday preceding the elections. The Election Committee, in consultation with the proper body concerned, shall have exclusive authority to decide the manner and form the ceremony would be conducted. Rule 4 – Election Information Dissemination Section 1. Definition. As used in these rules: a.) The term “candidate” refers to any person nominated for or seeking an elective position in the General Assembly, Conference, or Local Church. b.) The term “election information dissemination” refers to an act of the Elections Committee designed to educate and inform the members about election rules, decisions and other matters relative to its work and duties as well as the necessity of clean, free, orderly, and honest electoral processes and promote awareness among the electorate as to the candidates running for the various elective positions. c.) The term “election campaign” refers to any act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to any elective position. d.) The term “contribution” includes a gift, donation, loan, or deposit of money or anything of value or contract, promise or agreement to contribute, made for election purposes. 5 Section 2. Election information dissemination. The Elections Committee shall have the exclusive authority and duty to conduct election information dissemination in accordance to Section 3, Rule 1 of these Rules, which may include: a.) The distribution to all members of letters, pamphlets, leaflets, posters, or other written or printed materials containing information about the candidates for elective positions as well as the qualifications required for each position; b.) The posting of election materials on bulletin boards or other easily accessible areas; c.) The holding of information dissemination meetings where all the candidates are given equal opportunity to provide proper information about their qualifications and vision for the elective office they seek in accordance with the rules and regulations which the Election Committee may make and enforce to ensure the observance of fairplay and equal opportunity; d.) Such other activities as the Election Committee may deem fit to conduct in order to maximize the access to information regarding all the candidates as well as the electoral process. In the performance of its duty under this rule, the Elections Committee shall ensure a balanced and unbiased presentation of all the candidates and shall conduct itself with utmost integrity and shall avoid the display of any act of prejudice or support for any particular candidate. Section 3. Election campaign strictly prohibited. It shall be wrongful for any candidate or person to engage in any campaign activity as defined in Section 1 (c) of this rule. Candidates are strictly prohibited from campaigning for their election, except when introducing themselves during the information dissemination meetings officially sanctioned by the Election Committee as provided under Section 2 (c) of this rule. Section 4. Prohibited forms of election information dissemination. Except for the election information dissemination activities which only the Election Committee is exclusively authorized to perform, it shall be wrongful for any candidate or person to: a.) Print, publish, post or distribute any poster, pamphlet, circular, handbill or printed or handwritten matter urging voters to vote for or against any particular candidate; b.) To construct, put up, make use of, attach, float or display any billboard, streamer, tinplate poster, balloons and the like, of whatever size, shape, form or kind, advertising for or against any candidate; c.) To purchase, manufacture, request, distribute or accept electoral propaganda gadgets such as pens, lighters, fans of whatever nature, flashlights, athletic goods, or materials, wallets, shirts, hats, bandanas, watches, matches, cigarettes and the like, advertizing for or against a candidate; and d.) Such other propaganda device, system, act or guise designed or will tend to support or prevent the election of a candidate. The Election Committee or its duly authorized representative shall stop, confiscate, or tear down any prohibited election propaganda gadget or advertisement. 6 Section 5. It shall be the duty of any member of the Church to report to the Election Committee the commission of any prohibited form of election dissemination. Section 6. No candidate or person shall, either personally or though another person, solicit any contribution for the purpose of supporting or preventing, whether directly or indirectly, the election of a candidate. Section 7. No candidate or person shall, during the election information dissemination period, directly or indirectly, make any donation, contribution or gift in cash or in kind; or undertake to make such donation, contribution or gift, to any project or activity which would tend to influence the outcome of the election. Section 8. No candidate shall spend any amount of money, whether directly or indirectly, for his/her election. Rule 5 – Manner and Conduct of Election Section 1. Registration of voters. The registration procedure for voters shall be as follows: a.) In the case of the General Assembly or Conference, all voting delegates and members shall register for the purpose of the election. b.) The voting delegated and members shall then be issued with an authorized color code identification Card. c.) The Election Committee shall allow only those delegates and members who have the required Identification Card to cast their votes during the election. d.) In case of Local Church election, the Local Church should establish an upgraded list of qualified voters three (3) months immediately prior to the scheduled election. Section 2. Rules for the casting of votes. The Election Committee shall promulgate rules and procedure pertaining to the casting and canvassing of votes. Section 3. Election paraphernalia. The Election Committee shall prepare the requisite ballots and other election materials. Section 4. Canvassing of votes. After all the votes are cast, the Election Committee shall canvass the votes and thereafter present the results of the election for the confirmation of the General Assembly, Conference, or the Local Church Council. Rule 6 – Election Contest Section 1. Election contest. The Election Committee shall have exclusive and primary jurisdiction over all contests relating to the qualifications and elections of all elective positions of the General Assembly, Conference and Local Church. 7 Section 2. Procedure in election contests. The Election Committee shall prescribe the rules to govern procedures and other matters in relation to the election contests pertaining to elective positions of the General Assembly, Conference or Local Church. Such rules shall provide procedures for the expeditious disposition of election contests and shall be published prior to their effectivity in the United Church Letter, or Conference or Local Church official newsletter. Section 3. Finality of decisions. All decisions of the Election Committee shall be final and executory after the lapse of fifteen (15) days from receipt thereof by the parties unless seasonably appealed in accordance with the procedure adopted by the National Commission on Discipline and Conflict Resolution. Rule 7 – Election Offenses Section1. Prohibited acts. The following shall be guilty of an election offense: a.) Any person who gives, offers or promises money or anything of value, gives or promises any office or employment, or makes offers to make an expenditure, either directly or indirectly, or cause any expenditure to be made to any person, candidate, committee or instrumentality within the UCCP, to induce any member either directly or indirectly, to vote for or against any candidate or person in a scheduled election, except for the Election Committee, any person or candidate, who solicits or receives, directly or indirectly, any expenditure or promise of any office employment, for any of the foregoing consideration; b.) Any General Assembly or Conference officer, or any officer, elder, trustee, or deacon of a local church who coerces, intimidates, compels, or influences directly or indirectly any of his/her subordinates or any member of the Election Committee to aid, campaign or vote for or against any candidate; c.) Any person or candidate who directly or indirectly, threatens, intimidates or coerces any member of the Election Committee or personnel in the performance of his/her functions or duties; d.) Any person or candidate who solicits votes or undertakes any propaganda on the day of election, for or against any candidate; e.) Any person or candidate who knowingly makes any false or untruthful statement relative to any data or information required in the certificate of candidacy; f.) Any person who knowingly makes any false or untruthful statement relative to any data or information in the registration forms required during any scheduled elections in the National Council, Conference and Local Church; g.) Any person who tampers with or changes without authority any data or entry in the election registration forms where an election is scheduled; h.) Any person who falsely certifies or indentifies another as a bona fide member of the Church, where an election is scheduled; 8 i.) Any person who uses or allows others to use an Identification Card for the purpose of voting, whether or not he/she succeeds in voting; j.) Any person who votes more than once in the same election, or who, not being a registered member, votes in an election; k.) Any voter who, in the course of voting uses a ballot other than the one given by the Election Committee or has in his/her possession more than one official ballot; l.) Any member or personnel of the Election Committee charged with the duty of reading the ballot during the canvassing of votes who deliberately omits to read the vote duly written on the ballot or misreads the vote actually written thereon or reads the name of the candidate where no name is written on the ballot; m.) Any member or personnel of the Election Committee charged with the duty of tallying the votes in the tally board, sheet or other forms prescribed by the committee who deliberately fails to record a vote therein, or records erroneously the votes read, or records a vote where no such vote has been read; n.) Any person who has made possible the casting of more votes than there are voters; o.) Any person or candidate who removes, tears, defaces, or destroys any letter, pamphlet, leaflet, poster or other election information propaganda authorized by the Election Committee for posting; p.) Any person or candidate who conducts an election campaign outside the election information dissemination activities authorized by the Election Committee; q.) Any person who, being authorized to receive certificate of candidacy, receives any certificate of candidacy outside the period for filing the same and makes it appear that the said certificate of candidacy was filed on time; or any person who, by means of fraud, threat, coercion or intimidation, causes or compels the commission of the said act; and r.) Any person or candidate who commits any act prohibited under the other provisions of this Rules. Section 2. Penalties. Any person found guilty of any election offense under these Rules shall suffer disqualification to hold any elective office in the Church for at least one (1) year for the first offence, three (3) years for the second offence, and perpetual disqualification for the third offence. In case the violator is a candidate for election, he/she shall additionally suffer immediate disqualification from election to the position he/she is seeking upon order of the Election Committee. In case the violator is an incumbent officer of the Church or a member of any of its committees, he/she shall additionally suffer immediate removal from office upon recommendation of the Elections Committee and approval by the proper body of the church. Nothing in these Rules shall preclude or prevent the Church from imposing additional disciplinary sanctions provided by the UCCP Constitution 9 and By-Laws upon its officers or members who have violated the provisions of these Rules. Section 3. Prescription. Election offenses shall prescribe after sixty (60) days from the date of their commission if the violator is caught in the act of committing the offense. Otherwise, election offenses shall prescribe after sixty (60) days from the date of discovery. Rule 8 – Recall Section 1. By Whom Exercised. The power of recall for loss of trust and confidence shall be exercised by the members of the Conference or Local Church to which the elective church officer subject of such recall belongs. Section 2. Who May Be Recalled. Any elective conference or local church officer may be recalled for loss of confidence in the manner prescribed under this Rule. Such elective officer may be the subject of a recall election only once during his or her term of office. No recall shall take place within six (6) months from the date of the officer’s assumption of office or six (6) months immediately preceding a regular election. Section 3. Initiation of the Recall Process. a.) Recall may be initiated by a preparatory recall committee or by the members of the Conference or the Local Church to which the church officer subject of such recall belongs. b.) There shall be a preparatory recall committee in the Conference and Local Church. Which shall be composed of five (5) members elected by the Conference Council or the Local Church Council from among its members provided one member is a pastor, one each from the youth and the women. c.) Upon proper petition by a Local Church in the case of the Conference or a member in the case of the local Church for the recall of any elective conference or local church officer, the preparatory recall committee may convene in session to determine the sufficiency and propriety of the petition. Should it fin the petition sufficient in form and substance, the preparatory recall committee shall initiate the recall by a resolution passed by majority of its all members during the session called for the purpose. Such resolution shall be forwarded to the Election Committee of the Conference and Local Church. d.) Recall of any elective Conference or Local Church officer may also be validly initiated upon written petition of at least twenty percent (20%) of the total number of member churches in the case of the Conference or twenty percent (20%) of the total number of voting members in the case of the Local Church in which the said officer to be recalled was elected. The petition shall be duly signed under oath and shall be filed with the Election Committee of the Conference or the Local Church. Section 4. Election on Recall a.) Within ten (10) days after receiving the resolution or written petition calling for the recall of an elective Conference or Local Church officer 10 the Elections Committee shall conduct a hearing for the purpose of verifying the authenticity and genuineness of the resolution or written petition and the requisite percentage of members to make the petition. b.) In the case of the Conference, the Elections Committee shall resolution request the Conference Council to call a special conference session for the purpose of election on recall, and the Conference Council shall call such a special conference session not later than sixty (60) days from receipt of the resolution; provided that the petitioning Local Churches shall defray the cost of holding the special conference session for the election on recall. c.) In the case of the Local Church, the Elections Committee shall set the date of the election on recall, which shall not be later than thirty (30) days after making the verification specified in the immediately preceding paragraph. d.) The officer sought to be recalled shall automatically be considered as a nominee to the same position and like the other nominees shall be entitled to be voted upon. Section 5. Effectivity of the Election on Recall. The recall of an elective Conference or Local Church officer shall be effective only upon the election and proclamation of a successor in the person of the nominee receiving the highest number of votes cast during the election on recall. Should the officer sought to be recalled receive the highest number of votes, confidence in him/her is thereby affirmed, and he/she shall continue in office. Section 6. Prohibition from Resignation. The elective Conference or Local Church officer sought to be recalled shall not be allowed to resign while the recall process is in progress. Rule 9 – Removal Elected officers of the General Assembly may be removed by twothirds (2/3) votes of the General Assembly in a special session called for the purpose, or by three-fourths (3/4) vote of the National Council for loss of confidence, comformably with Article V, Section 7 of the UCCP Amended Constitution. Rule 10 – Effectivity These Rules shall take effect upon its approval. All other policies, actions and procedures of the Church inconsistent with this Election Code are hereby superseded, rescinded and repealed. Approved by the 8th General Assembly, Digos City, Davao del Sur May 24-29, 2006 ATTEST: 11 PASTOR REBECCA S. TISTON Chairperson, General Assembly BISHOP ELEMER M. BOLOCON General Secretary ._____________________________ To ber presented For Ratification by the Annual Sessions of the Conferences of the UCCP Proclaim Ratified _______________ 12
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