|UWI Guild bye-election April 16 |
By Rachael Espinet Tuesday, April 8 2014
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DEPUTY PRINCIPAL: UWI Deputy Principal, Prof Rhoda Reddock, speaks on the UWI Guild Elections fiasco, at the office of the Deputy Principal on the St ...
The Guild of Students from the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine will hold a bye-election on April 16 for four top positions — President, Secretary, Postgraduate President and the Faculty of Social Sciences Representative.
The officially scheduled Guild Election took place last Thursday, but seven hours into the elections, which began late at 10.15 am, it was discovered that some candidates were ineligible for a position on the Guild’s Council.
Prunella Mungroo, Returning Officer of the election told Newsday yesterday, “The usual process is that we tell the candidates to ensure that you are registered and financially cleared with the University. During the course of the voting process, the Guild learned that certain students were not eligible candidates.”
Mungroo said that the information received, stated that candidates contesting four positions were not eligible. However, she said a long period in the voting process elapsed during the time taken to confirm the information. Despite the problem with the candidates, voting was allowed to continue until 10.15 pm.
Candidates can be disqualified from the race if they are not in good standing with the University. The students could have outstanding hall of residence fees, school fees, library fees, or even a medical hold, and this would invalidate their candidacy, Mungroo explained.
Fifteen positions were contested. The candidates of the 11 other positions were found in good standing, the votes for those positions were tallied and a winner was declared. Those students were officially confirmed as Guild Councillors.
“Instead of going the route of cancelling everyone, the final tally affected only four positions, so acting upon advice these four portions were deemed null, and a bye-election would be done on April 16,” Mungroo said.
She further noted that the Constitution of the Guild of Students does not give any provisions for the ineligibility of candidates. Mungroo said she consulted with the candidates, administration officials, and sought legal advice to determine if a bye-election should be held.
This bye-election reopens the entire electoral process for those four positions again. The nominations for candidates begin today, and will close at the end of the week.
These candidates will have to campaign and speak at the Guild’s General Forum again. Mungroo said this was constitutionally required, and it would be fair for any new candidates.