The Convention was officially opened Friday morning, April 29, with prayers in four languages. Six hundred sixty-three delegates representing 132 of the 148 National Spiritual Assemblies were present in Haifa Auditorium to take part in the election of the Universal House of Justice. In addition, mail ballots were cast by delegates from the 16 countries who were unable to attend. The spectacular array of humanity, many wearing national costumes, colored the atmosphere of solemnity as each delegate stepped forward to cast a ballot.
Also present for the opening session were five of the Hands of the Cause of God, lending a special dignity and the spiritual force of their high office: Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum, ‘Ali Akbar Furutan, Dr. ‘Ali Muhammad Varqa, William Sears and Collis Featherstone.
A highlight of the balloting was the presence of two delegates from Cuba, which had never before been represented at an International Convention. They were warmly applauded as they crossed the stage to cast their ballots. The results of the voting were announced at noon on Saturday, June 30, by the chief teller, Dr. Firuz Kazemzadeh, vice-chairman of the U.S. National Spiritual Assembly. Of the 1,296 ballots cast, only one was invalid. The members were elected by a total of 7,880 of the 11,655 individual votes cast.
The members of the House of Justice were:
‘Ali Nakhjavani, Glenford Mitchell, Hushmand Fatheazam, Ian Semple, Peter Khan, David Ruhe, Hugh Chance, Hooper Dunbar and Adib Taherzadeh.
(Adapted from Baha’i News, July 1988)