Pulse decry handling of KE Election controversy; demand KSU explain breaches in statute and standing orders

Controversy surrounding the KE election has rumbled on, with Pulse now throwing their hat into the ring and saying that Monday’s events made a “mockery” of the Education Commission and its principles.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Pulse questioned how Monday’s meeting was handled and demanded that KSU explain the motives behind their breaches of the KSU statute and standing orders.

The controversy started on Monday 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. It has since resulted in both KE Commissioner Jean Claude Scicluna and the KSU Board of Discipline issuing a statement last night.

In a call for further clarification, Pulse queried whether it would be possible for the nine student representatives whose proxy did not reach the KE Commissioner on time to make a declaration as to when they submitted their proxy and how it did not arrive in the hands of the Commissioner.

The organisation also said that the KSU Board of Discipline had failed to adhere to the KSU statute because “Article 41.5(f) clearly states that the accused must be given at least 5 working days before appearing in front of the Board of Discipline, however for some particular reason the same board failed to adhere with this statute and proceeded to halt the scheduled KE meeting.”

Pulse also said that “the students forming the Board of Discipline are both representing this Board whilst also being student representatives with a vote leading to a direct conflict in this matter.”

Below is Pulse’s full statement, issued on Wednesday afternoon:

As per protocol, Jean Claude Scicluna, the current KE Commissioner requested all current and eligible Student Representatives to attend the final KE meeting for the current term whereby they would seek to elect the upcoming KE Commissioner for the following term. Prior to this meeting, and per the current standing orders published by KSU, it was clear and concise that those who were unable to attend Monday’s meeting are to pass on their proxy by Sunday 14th, 19:00 sharp. As the meeting was all set to commence on Monday 15th at 19:00, Jean Claude Scicluna was taken aside and directed not to proceed with the meeting as they (the Board of Discipline) would not validate it. The main reason given, which was stated by the Board of Discipline to the student representatives, was that a number of students brought to their attention that their proxy vote was not accepted by the KE Commissioner, who in response stated that they were submitted after the stipulated deadline.

However, for some, this was not the case, and various disturbances and chaos was caused during the meeting resulting in the postponement of the KE Election.

Following the course of events which occurred yesterday, as Pulse we’d like further clarification on the main motive behind this postponement;

  • Firstly, various student representatives approached us to lament on the mediocre way by which the issue at hand was tackled during the meeting. With more than 30 student representatives in attendance, KSU failed to highlight the main reason why the meeting was abandoned and the election would not take place on the same day. With more than 36 hours having passed since the occurrence of such events, not only student representatives but even the general public is still in doubt on what really occurred.
  • Secondly, according to various representatives in attendance, the main reason the Board of Discipline conveyed was due to the failure of collection of 9 proxy votes prior to the scheduled meeting. As per provision 4.7 of the KE Standing Orders, which were published from the KSU Educational Office, it was clearly stated that the proxy should reach the Education Commissioner no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting. However, it was clearly evident from what has been stated that the current KE Commissioner was not in possession of the stated 9 proxy votes during the set deadline prior to the meeting. We ask if it would be possible to have all nine respective student representatives declare when they submitted their proxy votes and how they all failed to reach the KE Commissioner as is required?
  • Lastly, as per the KSU statute, Article 41.5(f) clearly states that the accused must be given at least 5 working days before appearing in front of the Board of Discipline, however for some particular reason the same board failed to adhere with this statute and proceeded to halt the scheduled KE meeting. Moreover, the students forming the Board of Discipline are both representing this Board whilst also being student representatives with a vote leading to a direct conflict in this matter.

A copy of the E-Mail sent by the KE Commissioner Jean Claude Scicluna prior to the meeting.

Most recently, the Education Office forwarded an e-mail from the Board of Discipline to all the student representatives, informing them about the decision which was taken to postpone the KE Election to another date.

This decision was taken following a lengthy discussion during Monday’s meeting whereby the Board had indicated that the ideal way forward was to have a look at the cameras, which are situated within the KSU office, and then proceed by meeting up once again on Monday 22nd. Was this all said in thin air and ignored 24 hours later?

Undoubtedly, this is a worrying situation. The Education Commission together with the Social Policy Commission are two independent bodies from the KSU Executive Board. The events that unfolded yesterday resulted in a mockery of the Commission, its independence and procedure.

In the midst of all this, we ask KSU to shed light on this issue and to clearly explain the motives behind such disregard of KSU Statute and Standing Orders.