BAHA’I WORLD CENTRE — In a rarefied and spiritual atmosphere, representatives of more than 160 national Baha’i communities cast their ballots for the election of the Universal House of Justice earlier today.
“The attendance of delegates at the 12th International Baha’i Convention this year is unprecedented in number,” remarked Alison Milston, Counsellor Member of the International Teaching Centre, opening the proceedings. “It is a befitting symbol of how the Baha’i Faith has advanced in the two centuries since the appearance of Baha’u’llah.”
Following a selection of prayers, over 1,300 representatives from around the Baha’i world, one-by-one, filed across the stage at the Haifa International Convention Centre and placed their ballots reverently into a designated wooden box. Including absentee ballots, the total number of representatives participating in the election surpassed 1,500.
The casting of ballots this morning was the culmination of a global electoral process in which every adult Baha’i can participate. Baha’i elections are distinctive for their lack of nominations and campaigning. The delegates to the International Convention, made up of the membership of all national Baha’i assemblies, vote by confidential ballot for the nine individuals they believe are best suited for membership on the House of Justice.
The mandate given to the Universal House of Justice by Baha’u’llah Himself includes exerting a positive influence on the welfare of humankind, promoting education, peace, and global prosperity, and safeguarding human honor, among many other responsibilities. The House of Justice is charged with applying the Baha’i teachings to the requirements of an ever-evolving society.
Since its formation at the First Baha’i International Convention in 1963, the House of Justice has preserved the organic unity of the worldwide Baha’i community, guiding it to develop its capacity to contribute to the emergence of a prosperous global civilization and to translate Baha’u’llah’s vision of world peace into reality.