Union to Consult Membership on Officebearer Terms

Following a request from one of its branches, NFU Scotland is to consult its membership regarding the length of terms that its Presidential team is permitted to serve.

The resolution received from Perth branch requested that the NFUS constitution be amended to allow a President to serve longer than four consecutive years in office.  Currently the NFUS Articles of Association state that a president cannot serve longer than two consecutive terms in office where the length of each term is two years.

In response, the Union’s Board of Directors has agreed that all 71 branches should be consulted on the terms of office not just for the President but also for the two Vice President positions and whether or not these should be altered. Vice Presidents currently serve for a year before the positions are re-elected. 

NFU Scotland Chief Executive James Withers said:

“Throughout our 97 years as a union, we have been fortunate in the quality of farmers who have been prepared to take any office at NFU Scotland and commit themselves to representing their fellow farmers and the industry.  This resolution from the Perth branch gives us the opportunity to discuss with all branches whether the length of terms served those people elected to our Presidential team are appropriate.

“Whilst the Perth branch resolution was confined to the President’s term of office, the Board of Directors believed it made sense to discuss the Vice Presidential terms at the same time given the issues around succession and the appropriateness of opening the Vice President posts up to election every year.

“We are looking for our branches to give us their comments by June 30.  If they were in favour of any changes, this would then require altering our Articles of Association and need members’ approval at an Extraordinary or Annual General Meeting.  If required, an Extraordinary General Meeting can be held in conjunction with the scheduled National Council meeting in November 2010.  Changes could therefore take effect for the next Presidential and Vice Presidential elections in February 2011.”  

Notes to Editors

  • Article 61 of the Articles of Association states that the term of office of the President shall be two years.  No member can serve for more than two consecutive terms as President (resulting in a maximum time in office of four consecutive years).  A member requires more than 50 percent of votes at Council to be declared President, using a progressive elimination system if necessary until a candidate secures more than 50 percent of the vote.  If a member is standing for re-election as President he requires more than 50 percent of the vote in the first voting round.
  • The same article states that the term of office of the Vice Presidents shall be one year.  There is no maximum number of consecutive terms that can be served.  In the election for Vice Presidents, where there are three or more candidates, the progressive elimination system is used until two candidates remain, who are then declared the Vice Presidents.
  • For members, the consultation can be found on the union’s website at:


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006






Date Published:

News Article No.: 70/10

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