News

Equal Opps and Welfare Candidate removed from Elections

In the second removal of a candidate this week, John Smith* has been removed from the competition to be Equal Opportunities and Welfare Officer, following what was rumoured to be a series of repeated misdemeanours.

In an unfortunate turn of events at the end of a week of voting which had seen a large turnout and relatively few incidents, Smith, in a message sent to members of his Facebook group, complained of a “decision made by a secretive group where you can’t even see minutes of the meeting in which you were involved.”

While a statement was due to be released by the elections committee this morning, Smith opted to pre-empt it with his own, arguing that the justifications for his removal were “false” and “invalid”, and stating his intention to appeal the decision. Appeals committee meets next week, so if any appeal is successful the position will go to a by-election. For now, any votes already made for Smith will pass to the next preference on the ballot paper.

Smith’s statement – and the prospect of it overshadowing the remainder of the final day of voting – will not be welcome news for the election committee, which had been given a vote of confidence from the Exec on Tuesday. Concerns had been raised by candidates of seemingly ignored representations, and rumours were circulating of an ‘open letter’ of complaint from candidates to the committee – a letter which was quietly shelved on Tuesday.

Speaking to Impact, Smith wholeheartedly thanked his supporters for all of their help during this campaign, and stated that he hoped that incidents such as this would not dissuade individuals from getting involved in the Students’ Union. “Elections committee seems to work on the basis of guilty until proven innocent”, he said, “they have made a lot of mistakes during this election period and I would say removing my candidacy is one of the biggest ones they have made.”

With the elections committee’s statement soon to follow, this final day is just getting started. Committee members have so far refused to comment on the story.

Dave Jackson

*This person’s name was changed to protect their identity. 

Categories
News
9 Comments on this post.
  • LG
    12 March 2010 at 14:22
    Leave a Reply

    By the sounds of it the election committee has conducted itself pitifully throughout the last weeks. What happened to a democratic and transparent system?

  • Sam
    13 March 2010 at 02:56
    Leave a Reply

    Does seem that a hell of a lot of cock-ups have gone through this years’ election without being challenged, from the conduct of the Election Committee, transparency of the election, and even down to the ballot papers themselves. Yes this years’ committee surely must have put in enormous amounts of time, though next years’ won’t have to do much to improve on them.

  • Sam
    13 March 2010 at 02:58
    Leave a Reply

    Does seem that a hell of a lot of cock-ups have gone through this years’ election without being challenged, from the conduct of the Election Committee, transparency of the election, and even down to the ballot papers themselves. Yeah this years’ committee surely must have put in enormous amounts of time, though next years’ won’t have to do much to improve on them.

  • We need openness, not secrecy fro the SU
    13 March 2010 at 18:54
    Leave a Reply

    Dave Hind – when are you going to come clean and publish the full and exact reasons why this decision was made (and the constitutional justifications for the decision)?

    I myself, and I’m sure many others want to know the details of the alleged ‘secret meetings’ in which this decision took place.

  • Paul
    13 March 2010 at 22:41
    Leave a Reply

    If Wayne wins the appeal and wants to run in a subsequent by-election, surely it would be irresponsible of Elections Committee to publish the various allegations against him? Would Wayne himself even want there to be a public announcement of any alleged misdemeanors?

  • Wait a minute
    13 March 2010 at 23:07
    Leave a Reply

    Are you saying that despite the fact that Katie MacKay was announced the winner on the night, there could still be a bye-election, which Wayne could still win?

    Why didn’t they just delay the counting of the votes and keep them secret until the decision has been made?

    Then, if it did go to a bye-election, the original votes could be destroyed so no one would know the results of the first election, (which Wayne was expelled from).

    Someone on the elections committee – we’d love to know!

  • Paul
    14 March 2010 at 10:42
    Leave a Reply

    Once Elections Committee had decided (rightly or wrongly) to remove Wayne from the elections, they had no choice but to remove him from Friday’s ballot. If his candidacy was no longer legitimate in their eyes, he couldn’t be allowed to collect more votes.

    This obviously means that if their decision is overturned, the whole election becomes illegitimate, but it would have been just as illegitimate if they’d allowed a candidate to collect votes after he’d been removed. There’s no middle ground between people being allowed to vote for him and people not being able to; the appeals process would have to be immediate if we didn’t want the decision of Elections Committee to affect the result of the election.

    Imagine if Dwain Chambers had said in 2003 that the drugs test he’d failed had been a mistake and that those who had administered the test were unaccountable. Would he still have been allowed to take part in subsequent races?

  • anon
    14 March 2010 at 10:57
    Leave a Reply

    I said this yesterday, Wayne was miles behind both of the other candidates and would have come third anyway, having spoken to the people that did the count etc. I think it’s probably best for everyone if he just deals with that and moves on.

  • Chris
    14 March 2010 at 12:47
    Leave a Reply

    The details of why a candidate is removed is kept closed for the privacy of the candidate involved; a candidate can get details in private but in general we’re talking about actions that have made the election unfair, ie. cheating, something a candidate in question probably wouldn’t want branded all over the internet.

  • Leave a Reply