The election for the post of KE will take place tonight amidst a strong element of controversy. Many have commented and given their views on the situation, however thus far the two candidates for the election have been silent with regards to the matter.
Controversy has dragged on since the election was first postponed on Monday 15 April. A sparring contest ensued between current KE Commissioner Jean Claude Scicluna and the KSU Board of Discipline (catch up here, here, and here) which has, seemingly, resulted in a deadlock over tonight’s voting procedure.
Scicluna has insisted that only those who were present on Monday 15 April or had their proxies validated in time for it will be allowed to vote, while the Board of Discipline yesterday said that all would be given the opportunity to vote and re-opened the period for proxy submissions. It is still unclear how the situation is going to unfold during the election.
Given that this is a matter which, in the end, affects them especially as candidates, The Yuppie sent the following two questions to both candidates, Nico Muscat and Yacopo Baldacchino, with regards to the controversy:
- Do you agree with how the situation has been handled by the KSU Board of Discipline?
- Do you think that Wednesday’s election should be open to all students or just those who were present/had their proxies validated on Monday 15 April?
Muscat answered both questions, saying in relation to the first that whilst he felt that the situation could have been handled better, it was time to learn from this experience to make sure it becomes a problem of the past;
“This is without a doubt a complicated matter and it is important that all sides of the story are listened to and that all relevant parties are heard. Yet I do believe that the situation could have been handled better.”
“But what is done is done and we can only learn from past issues. It is crucial that we come together and learn from this experience, so we make sure it becomes a problem of the past. It is my aim to work very hard on this matter to make sure that the Education Commission and all other entities involved in this matter learn from this experience and improve so we can offer a better service to the students.”
Answering the second question, Muscat noted that it would be a mistake and would set a worrying precedent if the statute and standing orders are not followed. He did say however that if elected he would ensure to listen to all parties and proceed to make the necessary improvements and amendments for the future;
“Whenever I have been involved in student organisations and as a student representative, I always felt, and I do believe that most student activists believe this way as well, that when there is a structure, and a rule book, in most cases, a statute, this statute is there to be followed. It provides details and procedures on how things are done in the correct manner.”
“In this case it was always clear to all student representatives that there is a statute and standing orders that we need to follow, to make sure we perform our duties as representatives of our fellow students well. I believe that it would be a mistake and it would also set a worrying precedent if the statute and standing orders are allowed to be broken as it means that the Education Commission loses its sense of scope and order.”
“The current procedure is what it is, and we must abide by it. What I can state however is that if there are issues, as has happened, I will make sure that in this new term I would listen to all parties and proceed to make the necessary improvements and amendments for the future. I am sure that if all student representatives come together and discuss this issue in the coming meetings, we can come up with solutions that would improve the procedure and make sure that this is never an issue again.”
Baldacchino meanwhile was more cautious in his response, combining his answer to both questions posed into the statement reproduced below. He did however seem to indicate that discretion on the final decision should be left to the KSU Board of Discipline given that the complaints were made directly to them, and called for a solution that is the most fair to both candidates and the student representatives in general;
“Once the Board was called upon, they needed to intervene and take a decision. Of course, since the discussions of the Board are confidential, I do not have any information other than that which was presented on Monday and through the emails sent to us. Having said this, I would agree to a decision that is most fair to both candidates and the student representatives as a whole.”
“Ultimately, its not really up to me to decide as I am simply a candidate in the election. On this case it is up to the Board of Discipline, especially since complaints were made directly to them.”
The election takes place on Wednesday 24 April.
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