The University of the West of England (UWE) Student Union (SU) presidential election campaign came to a close last night, but not without its own scandal.
Two candidates felt disappointed with the SU’s decision to un-list them, just hours before the voting window closed.
The controversy surrounds one candidate in particular, current SU president, Ahmd Emara.
Ahmd was un-listed yesterday afternoon and given only three hours to submit his appeal. The appeal was not upheld leaving the voting to close without him on the list.
He explained the reason behind his disqualification was due to the fact that he used an SU logo which was out of date.
What did the Students Union say?
The Students Union were unavailable for comment, and directed us to a statement regarding the withdrawal of the candidates:
“Unfortunately, this year the election rules have been breached by two candidates, resulting in the Deputy Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officers at The Students’ Union at UWE taking the difficult decision to disqualify both candidates from this year’s Leadership Race.
Appeals were submitted by the candidates in question, however, these appeals were not upheld by an independent external Returning Officer.
Regrettably, this means that any votes cast for these candidates will now not be eligible for consideration. As The Students’ Union uses the single transferable voting system, we would like to reassure any affected students that their next preferences will be taken into account.”
Olivia Evans, Vice President for Societies and Communication declined to comment and claims she “doesn’t know much about the campaign.”
What did Ahmd say?
The SU introduced a new logo after the 2014 elections, but Ahmd told UWE Wired: “the old logo is available to everyone.” He expressed his disappointment at what he feels was an ‘unfair’ process.
What do the students say?
With candidates removed from the ballot so late in the voting process, some students who have voted for the disqualified candidates are campaigning for a fairer election process.
Hannah Burtenshaw started a petition to re-open nominations.