Only those present last week and proxies validated last week will be able to vote in KE election – Jean Claude Scicluna

Only those who were present during last week’s halted KE election and those who had their proxies validated by the Education Commissioner before 14 April at 6:59pm – the initial deadline for proxies – will be allowed to vote in tomorrow’s KE election, KE Commissioner Jean Claude Scicluna advised through a letter sent to the KSU Board of Discipline.

Controversy erupted last week when the KE election, which was meant to take place on Monday 15 April, was stopped.

The controversy started when the Board of Discipline was made aware that certain proxies were seemingly submitted to the KSU Office before the stipulated deadline but were not passed on to the Education Commissioner as they should have been, and were hence deemed to be inadmissible for the KE election.

From their investigation into the matter the Board of Discipline recommended that the election take place on Wednesday 24 April at 19:00 and that “the KE Commissioner, KE Commission and KSU Executive agree on an adequate, accessible process, which would ensure that the submission of proxies can be done in the easiest manner, to ensure that all its members are able to carry out their rights and duties as set out in the KSU Statute, KSU Standing Orders, KSU Code of Ethics and/or otherwise as approved during the latest Annual General Meeting held this earliest his year“.

However in a six-page letter sent to the Board on Sunday, Scicluna – through lawyer Dr. Dirk Urpani – wrote that while the election will go ahead on Wednesday 24 April at the specified time, only those who were either present or had their proxy vote validated by the previously stipulated deadline would be allowed to vote. This was because Wednesday’s meeting would be a continuation of what was taking place on 15 April, a meeting which, he said, was wrongly halted.

This means that any other proxies or members not present at Monday’s controversial meeting will not be allowed to vote in tomorrow’s election.

The letter, which can be found in full at the bottom of this article, also lambasts how this issue has been handling, saying the KSU Board of Discipline had provided an interpretation on a point in the statute that is amply clear.

It also addresses concerns surrounding the use – or lack thereof – of CCTV cameras to identify what truly happened to the proxy votes in question, along with other concerns as to individuals being on the Board having a direct interest in the KE election as they are also student representatives themselves and hence can vote.

Board of Discipline replies to student representative’s concerns

The KSU Board of Discipline meanwhile replied to the concerns put forwrad by Owen Grech, a student representative.

Owen Grech, writing to the KSU Board of Discipline last week on behalf of student representatives, had said also questioned the way in which the issue has been handled.

“Where in the statute does it state that you are allowed to restart an election?” said Grech in his email before adding that as per article 39.3.2 and 42.7 the Board does not have the right to restart the election unless the Education Commissioner agrees, something which Scicluna had, apparently, not.

He noted that not even 24 hours after what was supposed to be an election, the Board of Discipline had come to a conclusion to start the election from scratch, which is not in line with the Statute.

“I believe we had agreed that you would first look at the cameras and then after compiling the necessary evidence you would convene next Monday to discuss everything”, Grech said. The Disciplinary Board made no mention of looking at cameras to verify the statements about the proxies handed in. “Was the meeting on Monday all a mockery?” he asked.

On whether they had the power to restart an election, the Board said that Point 39.3.3.5 specifically states that the Board can order an executive member to take action according to this statute.

Replying to allegations of conflict of interest in some of the board members, the Board said that specific proxies had not been discussed and that the discussion had focused on the general misunderstanding on how proxy forms are to be submitted.

The Board of Discipline also replied that the CCTV camera footage had indeed been viewed, with KSU Secretary General William Farrugia being the person who – due to GDPR laws – viewed them. He confirmed to the Board that a number of the controversial proxies had been handed in on time, and this was then verified through the same footage by the Chairperson of the Board after permission to view the footage was received from third parties.

The Board also clarified that Scicluna is not under any form of investigation or alleged of any wrongdoing.