Elections: everyone gets a vote

Every office within Belgian Red Cross-Flanders has a maximum term of four years, after which it must be renewed by election. Elections for presidents and deputy presidents are therefore held in all branches of the organization every four years. The most recent such elections took place in October 2012.

Elections were held throughout Flanders. They provided an opportunity to look back and to look ahead. What ambitions did the branch have four years ago? Have they been realized? And, more importantly, what does the branch aim to achieve in the years ahead?

Branch presidents and deputy presidents are elected by all of the volunteers in that branch. Any volunteer who has been working with the branch for at least one year is entitled to vote. Many volunteers used their voting rights once again in 2012, in a fine display of democracy within our organization.

Changes at the top

Once the electoral dust had settled, 22% of branches had a new president as of January 1, 2013, while just over 25% elected a new deputy president.

The terms of office of Local Committee officers were also renewed. These include treasurers, secretaries, bursars and the heads of individual disciplines. The president appoints this committee personally. On average, 20% of Local Committee positions were renewed.

The elections and appointments were not confined to local and provincial levels. Elections were also held at community level. Community President Christ’l Joris and Deputy Community President Freddy Snoeck were reelected to their respective offices. We now also have a second Deputy Community President, John Dejaeger, who will focus mainly on the Blood Service.

Gender balance

Care was taken in the elections to ensure an even representation of men and women in the various committees and councils.  The number of female board members increased once again: whereas women made up 25% of the Governing Boards until the end of 2012, that proportion is now 40%. The number of female branch presidents also increased: as of January 1, 2013, one in four is a women.

Related items:

Volunteers: key figures

Local branches in Flanders

Volunteer training