YesCymru members to get opportunity to elect new Central Committee
Members of YesCymru are going to get the opportunity to elect a new Central Committe.
The pro-independence group has announced that an Extraordinary General Meeting will be held in the Autumn where the current members of the Committee will put their own seats up for election.
The decision to hold the meeting was made after calls to do so from a number of local YesCymru branches, and following demands on social media for members of the current Committee to resign.
The group has been going through a turbulent period, with a number of resignations from the Central Committee, including that of former Chair, Sion Jobbins.
The interim Chair Sarah Rees has previously told Nation.Cymru that there had been a “slight breakdown in communication” between the YesCymru committee and the membership, that they were now taking steps to rectify.
A statement from the Central Committee said: “YesCymru will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting of members (EGM) this Autumn, where many constitutional changes will be on the table. To coincide with the EGM, we, the remaining members of the YesCymru Central Committee, will put our own seats up for election, and will be giving the membership the opportunity to elect a new Central Committee.
“There have recently been calls by a number of the local YesCymru groups for an EGM to be held, pursuant to our written constitution, and we as the Central Committee are pleased to fulfill this instruction.
“The meeting will be used to address potential structural issues in our current constitution, a document which has seen only minor changes since YesCymru was launched in 2016.
“We recognise that the organisation of today – which has 18,000 members, many local groups, and salaried members of staff – is unrecognisable compared with the movement of the early years.”
It also said: “In the National Committee meeting on Saturday (31 July), we will be launching an EGM Working Group, containing representatives from the groups and from the Central Committee, which will discuss and develop all changes proposed to the EGM to ensure cohesion. The exact date and other details of the EGM will be set by the Working Group.
“Over these past two months since the Annual General Meeting where we were elected, we as the Central Committee have all given a lot of our time and energy into the administration of the movement, at great expense to our personal lives and our mental wellbeing.
“In this time, it has become increasingly difficult to function effectively as a committee, owing to the resignations of committee members, and much unrest around the number of people who were able to vote in the above election.
“We want to give the entire membership the right to have their say, therefore this is what we will be doing. Between now and the EGM we will seek nominations for the 12 seats, and then open the voting period following the meeting.
“The online election will remain open for a week and will be available to all who are members when the election is called, regardless of whether they attended the EGM.
“For the small number of members who we are unable to contact via email, we will be sending postal ballots. We will also be offering a preferential voting method for electing members, rather than first-past-the-post – all of which will be handled by an external election voting service.
“Some members voiced disappointment that they were unable to vote in the AGM, despite the election being similar to the previous AGM in Merthyr Tydfil. In fact 430 members voted in our online election this year, compared to 120 members who voted physically at that Merthyr Tydfil meeting.
“This year’s AGM was held online for the first time due to Covid restrictions. Voting took place within the event itself because the method of electing committee members was dependent on the outcome of one of the motions up for discussion at the meeting. To avoid a similar situation for this EGM, the vote itself will take place after the event.
“We now urge all members to support us as an outgoing committee in the endeavour of running the organisation between now and the EGM, so that we – with the help of the groups and the members – can put positive changes in place, ready for the next committee.
“As a wider independence movement, we must show respect for our differences within a non-partisan movement and concentrate on what unites us – the desire for an independent Wales.”