The University of Queensland Union (UQU) student election was in turmoil after the election was suspended at 12:15pm yesterday and reported to be invalid at 12:50pm.

The invalidity is reported to be due to the incorrect appointment of the returning officer for the 2013 elections.

According to student candidates, the current executive Fresh, an LNP aligned student political party, selected the returning officer in a closed meeting which violated the election tribunal regulations making the election invalid.

This follows previous controversy created after Fresh was found to be using union money for political party merchandise and creating ‘tricky and confusing’ regulation obstacles for political parties to be on the ballot.

Opinion polls showed that Fresh would have lost the election to Reform, a Labor aligned party.

It is now up to the election tribunal to reschedule and appoint a new returning officer to execute the student elections.

What others are saying

The University of Queensland Union

“The University of Queensland Union (UQU) accepts the independent decision made today by the governing Election Tribunal that, due to a technical defect in the appointment of the Returning officer for this year’s student elections, the elections will need to be discontinued and rescheduled.”

“There is no issue or allegations of any impropriety involved.”

Read the full media statement

University of Queensland (attributed to Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Joanne Wright)

“The UQ Union operates completely independently of the University, as representatives of the student body. The elections also belong to the students as they democratically elect their chosen representatives. The University does not interfere in that process, but instead continues to encourage and support a fair and democratic election process.”

Read the full statement

DC on The Rooftop Review

“The 2013 University of Queensland Union (UQU) elections were discontinuedon August 7th due to the incumbent ‘Fresh’ UQU office bearers failing to follow due process in selecting a Returning Officer to administer and adjudicate the election. This stemmed from an appeal by the ‘Lift’ group, who were prevented from running due to a small error in a nomination form.”

Read the full article

Related stories

Students protest over UQ student elections by Carl Elliot-Smith in CitizenJ, 19 August, 2012

Vote early, vote often by Alex McLaren in The Rooftop Review, 6 August 2103

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

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