Congratulations María on your return to the Board - or commiserations
depending on your perspective!

Appointing María to the vacant seat is the best decision in the
circumstances IMO. Not only does she come with strong "community seat"
legitimacy as the person who came 'next' in the quite-recent election, she
also is coming BACK to the board. The shorter learning-curve means that,
during this difficult and important time, she will be able to be an
effective board member much faster than someone joining it for the first
time.

Running a new and timeconsuming election, now, would only have delayed
bringing the board back to full strength without adding any extra
legitimacy to the result than appointing María already brings. And, I say
this as the person she beat to 'third place' in the 2013 election which saw
her elected to the board in the first place :-) :-)
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_elections_2013/Results

- Liam / Wittylama
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