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Photo: Ethan Davies @ The Mancunion.

International Students’ officer will not be declared until next week

Candidates for the position of Students’ Union (SU) International Students’ Officer have been told not to expect a result until next Tuesday, almost two weeks after the announcement of all other Exec Officer positions.

The Mancunion understands that the delay is due to the fact an independent NUS panel responsible for dealing with complaints cannot meet until next week.

The delay comes despite the SU issuing a statement on Tuesday saying a result would be announced by the end of this week.

After last week’s dramatic results evening, the position of International Students’ officer has still not been declared due to the “unprecedented number of complaints” received by the SU about tactics used by certain candidates.

An official SU statement also revealed that action has been taken against “one or more candidates” in the category, but it remains unclear if this means candidates are suspended from the race, or if the statement is just referring to the campaigning ban.

Last week, The Mancunion revealed that  Kwame Kwarteng, Dishika Bhalotia, Rana Phool, and Chaudry Anas Riaz had been banned from campaigning in person due to allegations of misconduct. The candidates were running on a ‘slate’ – or common platform.

Anas Riaz was defeated but Kwame Kwarteng and Rana Phool went on to win their elections and will take up the positions of General Secretary and Postgraduate officer in the next academic year. 

The Mancunion has spoken to multiple candidates running for the position of International Students’ Officer tat are frustrated due to a lack of communication from the SU and the independent NUS appointed returning officer.

The statement released by the SU this week said: “In light of an eventful and unpredictable close to elections last week and in response to feedback from members which suggests there is confusion around some of the decisions made regarding newly elected officers, the Students’ Union wishes to clarify the position around the remaining vacant post and justify the actions taken to protect the democratic process.

“To ensure the integrity and independence of decision making in the Students’ Union elections, we appoint a Returning Officer who sits outside of the organisation and any structures within the Union. The Returning Officer applies rules and adjudicates on any complaints relating to candidates and the election itself.

“Throughout the voting period, we received complaints about a number of candidates across several roles which were reviewed and resolved by the Returning Officer. However, the election of the International Students’ Officer attracted an unprecedented number of complaints, which caused the Returning Officer to suspend the announcement and take action against one or more candidates. This action is subject to appeal to an independent group of people and they will adjudicate by the end of this week.”

Tags: election, executive officer elections, Manchester, Manchester SU, su, su update, University of Manchester

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