THE BAHA'I world has just completed its process to elect the new Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing council of the Baha'i Faith. Representatives of national spiritual assemblies around the world gathered at the 11th International Baha'i Convention in Haifa, Israel from 29 April to 2 May, to vote for nine new members of the House of Justice for the next five-year term. The event also marked the 50th anniversary of the election of the first House of Justice.
The electoral process follows the very unique model of electing administrative bodies in local Baha'i communities. No reference is made to individual names, thus removing all aspects of partisanship, nomination, and campaigning. Adult Baha'is vote for members of their community whom they believe are best qualified to guide their community and serve its needs. The process is marked by an atmosphere of prayer, respectfulness, and solidarity.
Last week's international election follows a five-year cycle. At the national and local levels, however, the elections are done during the festival of Ridvan, an event that commemorates Baha'u'llah’s declaration in 1863 as the Promised One of all religions.