Union hacks clash over electoral malpractice

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Seven electoral tribunals have been launched amidst accusations of rule breaking in the aftermath of last Friday’s Union elections.

The allegations of electoral malpractice, with two leveled at candidates for President, are the first since 2011 which will be heard in front of a tribunal panel.

Unsuccessful Presidential candidate Sunny Jain has been accused of publicly soliciting votes, campaigning in written and electronic form and providing members with a list of selected candidates, all of which are against the Union’s stringent electoral rules.

Lisa Wehden, who won Friday’s election for President, has been called to a tribunal for allegations including taking part in a conspiracy, engaging in an electoral pact between candidates and systematic campaigning in public places and member’s private lodgings. Charlie Vaughan, who was successfully elected Librarian, has been hit with the same charges.

Other charges come from Chris Frost, last Friday’s third Presidential candidate, who is taking on OUSU Women’s Vice President Sarah Pine, whilst ex-Returning Officer Joshua Atkinson has submitted against Rob Harris, New, who was elected to Standing Committee.

Annie Teriba, a Wadhamite who lost her election for Secretary by three votes to New College’s Dom Merchant, is claiming innocent interference against the Returning Officer who administered the election, Wharton Chan.

Whilst in recent years similar allegations  have been submitted to the election’s Returning Officer, they have all subsequently been withdrawn.

The tribunals will be held on Friday evening, with the possibility of some of the cases continuing on Saturday morning.

The tribunal panel is composed of three ex-officers of the society, all of whom have left the University, who will adjudicate on the allegations. They have the power to strip elected officials of their positions, revoke memberships, impose fines, and in some instances call a re-poll.

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