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AMIA president taking leave after parties fail to form coalition

JTA

August 31, 2011 | 3:17 pm

The president of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires was granted a two-month leave of absence after the center’s parties failed to form a coalition to name a successor.

Guillermo Borger asked last week for the leave of absence due to “personal necessity to return to my business and family life,” he told JTA. The AMIA executive committee acceded to the request, which came after five months of negotiations to find his successor. AMIA’s vice president, Angel Barman, like Borger a member of the Religious United Front bloc, will assume the presidency during Borger’s leave.

In April, a record number of 10,757 Buenos Aires AMIA members voted to choose a successor for Borger that would take office May 31. Since no candidate obtained more than 50 percent of the vote, the participating parties must negotiate a coalition to name a candidate to replace Borger.

Borger’s bloc achieved 41 percent of the vote, followed by the non-religious Plural Action party.

Borger will return to office on Oct. 30 to lead a new electoral meeting the following week. If that fails, voters could be called on to cast ballots again.

After 117 years of democratically choosing its leaders, this year the vote-getting parties failed to nominate a new executive committee. The Religious United Front and Plural Action have opposing views on core issues such as conversion, mixed marriage and the type of education that AMIA must support.

Borger was elected in 2008, the first victory for an Orthodox group in AMIA history.

“This result confirms that AMIA members want the continuity of our management,” he told JTA after the 2011 elections.

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