The submitting of a controversial proxy vote by a member of the current KSU executive after the deadline had elapsed was done in “good faith” and because the student representative in question was ill and unable to attend the meeting at no fault of her own, Naomi Attard – the KSU member in question – told The Yuppie.
Asked by this news organisation for her reaction to a story ran by inewsmalta, which alleged that Attard had ‘falsified’ the proxy vote and submitted it after the deadline, Attard admitted that while she had indeed submitted the proxy in a manner that was “not completely in line with the standing orders”, she had done so “in good faith” as the student representative in question – Chaya Fenech – was ill and was unable to attend “without any fault of her own”.
This fact had been “deliberately not shown in the inewsmalta article” published yesterday, Attard said.
She said that she had wanted to discuss this specific proxy with KE Commissioner Jean Claude Scicluna however this was not possible as “the proxies were undertaken collectively rather than as individual cases”.
The following is Attard’s reply to this newsroom in full;
“As the Education Coordinator of KSU, I approached Chaya [Fenech] on Monday 15th April, to check if she was going to attend the KE election meeting in the evening.”
“She stated that she was unable to attend as she was sick, this part of the conversation was deliberately not shown in the iNEWS Malta article published in the 23rd of April. I explained briefly what the meeting is about and explained the proxy procedure. Since she was sick before the meeting, I wanted to give her the opportunity to vote for the candidate that she believed in.”
“Furthermore, I wanted to discuss her proxy with Jean Claude [Scicluna], the KE Commissioner, as she had a genuine case, however this was not possible as the proxies were undertaken collectively rather than as individual cases.”
“Although I acknowledge that the submission of the proxy was not completely in line with the standing orders, the action that I did was in good faith and since this student representative was eligible to vote, however unable to do so without any fault of her own, I wanted to give her the opportunity to do so. Such an action was carried out with the aim of giving a voice to the students, something that KSU and myself as the Education Coordinator, strives to do.”
“The standing order in question, unfortunately, does not cater for the unexpected circumstance, in this case illness, that this student representative had to face. Consequently, discriminating the student representative from voting and voicing her opinion in a democratic manner, a right, freely given to them by the statute through the Education Commission.”
“This right should not be denied due to a rigid interpretation of the standing order, which does not take into consideration such circumstances which goes against the holistic democratic nature that KSU is founded upon.”
Also clarifying why KSU President Carla Galea had filled in the said proxy form, Attard said that “for the sake of availability, Carla filled a proxy form before the stipulated deadline for any student representative who was unable to attend the meeting and wanted to submit a proxy form”.
The KE election should – after a week and a half long saga – go ahead this evening, with Nico Muscat and Yacopo Baldacchino standing for election to the role. However, it is unclear in what manner it will go ahead, with a divergence between the KSU Board of Discipline and KE Commissioner Jean Claude Scicluna as to who is eligible to vote and who is not.
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