#AUCCDecides: Presidential Candidate accuses EC of bias and manipulation

A leading Presidential Candidate in the 2021/2022 Student Representative Council elections  of the African University College of Communications Foster Kekeli Adamtey is accusing the Electoral Commission of lack of transparency in its handling of the elections. The EC in a statement signed by the Chairman of the Commission Manaf Abdallah suspended the elections slated today 31st of August 2021 indefinitely over claims that candidates in the polls failed to submit their pictures for balloting on time. This according to the leader of  #TeamKekeli is false and misleading.

In statement signed by the Campaign Coordinator of #TeamKekeli, Gideon Zor, it argued that the reason for the postponement of the elections is due to the petition filed by three disqualified aspirants challenging the decision of the vetting results. “it was clear that issues surrounding results of the vetting Committee had not been fully addressed and thus, until the Review Application is decided, the EC cannot go ahead to ballot for candidates talk less of printing ballot papers for the Election. It defies common sense to go ahead to print ballots of a process that is still being contested at the Judicial Council.

He further indicated that “This was the only reason why the EC had to postponed the election and not the reason the EC gave as the inability to get some candidates to ballot. It is disingenuous on the part of the EC to state in one instance that issues relating to vetting results have not been resolved, and in another instance, say it was difficult getting some candidates to ballot and submit their photographs” If issues relating to vetting results had not been resolved as the EC admitted in it’s press statement, how do you go ahead to ballot and print ballot papers? He quizzed.

The electoral commission is yet to communicate to the student populace the new date for the elections.

Below is the full statement issued by #TeamKekeli

#TEAM KEKELI RESPONDS TO POSTPONEMENT OF AUCC SRC ELECTION

The attention of Team Kekeli has been drawn to a press statement by the Electoral Commission dated 31/08/21, and signed by the Electoral Commissioner, Abdallah Manaf, which announced postponement of elections scheduled for today, August 31, 2021.

Ordinarily, the Team would have remained silent and wait for the EC and other stakeholders to clear all bottlenecks for the election to be held, however some factual inaccuracies contained in the EC’s press statement has necessitated this response to bring all students and management up to speed with happenings so far.

 

The EC was spot on when it stated that some candidates were aggrieved by the decision of the Vetting Committee to capriciously disqualify them on their on whims and caprices and not on grounds stated in the AUCC SRC Constitution. The EC however failed to let all students know that the aggrieved students triggered the legal process under the AUCC SRC Constitution to challenge the decision of the Vetting Committee.

 

The Constitution gives aggrieved candidates a 24 hour window to challenge decision of the vetting Committee. Three of the disqualified candidates from Team Kekeli lodged a petition with the Judicial Council few hours after the Vetting Committee released it reports on Sunday, August 29, 2021.  In the morning of Monday, August 30, 2021, the EC sent out a circular inviting all candidates to a meeting at 11:00am. Strangely, members of the EC arrived on campus at about 1:00 pm. At the meeting, the EC Chairman asked candidates cleared by the Vetting Committee to submit their photographs and also ready themselves for balloting.

 

This was resisted by some of the disqualified candidates as they drew the attention of the EC Chairman to the Constitution that until the petition with the Judicial Council was dealt with, all processes had to be halted. The EC Chairman grudgingly acquiesced. It must be noted that the EC Chairman, before the meeting, was served a copy of the petition on Sunday, August 30, 2021. This means that he and his commissioners were aware of the legal process at the Judicial Council.

On Monday, August 31, 2021 around 4:20 pm, the Judicial Council came up with it’s verdict dismissing the petition on grounds considered by the petitioners as fictitious and frivolous. At the time the Judicial Council came up with it’s verdict, all candidates from Team Kekeli had left campus as it was getting late. In about an hour after the judgement, the three disqualified candidates filed another application with the Judicial Council to ‘REVIEW’ it’s judgment.

On the basis of the Review Application dated August 30, 2021 which was filed around 6:00pm, it was clear that issues surrounding results of the vetting Committee had not been fully addressed and thus, until the Review Application is decided, the EC cannot go ahead to ballot for candidates talk less of printing ballot papers for the Election. It defies common sense to go ahead to print ballots of a process that is still being contested at the Judicial Council.

 

This was the only reason why the EC had to postponed the election and not the reason the EC gave as the inability to get some candidates to ballot. It is disingenuous on the part of the EC to state in one instance that issues relating to vetting results have not been resolved, and in another instance, say it was difficult getting  some candidates to ballot and submit their photographs. If issues relating to vetting results had not been resolved as the EC admitted in it’s press statement, how do you go ahead to ballot and print ballot papers?

 

Team Kekeli wants to inform the entire student body and management that the uncertainty with the Elections is as the result of the unsuccessful manipulated antics of some of the people charged with responsibility to serve students.  We want to thank our supporters for keeping faith with us and trusting us to lead our Union. We want to assure them that Team Kekeli will activate all legal process to ensure the elections is conducted and with all members of Team Kekeli on the ballot. The wishes and aspirations of students will not be sacrificed on the alter of anybody’s devious interest.

Thank you

Signed

Gideon Zor

Coordinator for Team Kekeli

31/08/21

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