Beth Perkin reports on the alleged election fraud in the UCLU Spring Elections
More information has emerged regarding allegations of election fraud. On Wednesday a meeting was called in relation to complaints that Asad Khan, Mohammad Ali and their campaign teams had pressured students into voting on iPads and secretly selected co-campaigners on their accounts. Among the complaints were allegations of being “harassed and bullied into voting in the library”, and fraudulently casting votes for other people without explaining it beforehand.
In an email to Union Chair Mohammad Fahed, one complainant said “I was approached by Mohammad Ali who asked me to vote for him and I agreed. but then after I left I got 3 emails in quick succession for other positions (Activities & events, activities, education and campaigns) which I had NOT agreed to vote for.” The Union panel decided that, “the allegations were unproven” with respect to Ali. Khan however received a written warning.
But it did not end there. In light of further evidence of misconduct, an appeal was made to reconsider Khan’s punishment. The election committee was reorganised shortly before the appeal took place. Postgraduate Officer Mariana Ceccotti was replaced by Education and Campaigns Officer Lukmaan Kolia after a complaint was made that Ceccotti would not be impartial because of her perceived friendship with fellow committee member Guinevere Carter.
Ultimately, it was ruled that one allegation against Khan’s campaign team was founded, and 1% was deducted from his overall votes. However, no action was taken for against any other candidates.
One of the complainants who brought forward these allegations is now considering appealing to UCL itself on the grounds that the election committee was biased and punishments were not serious enough in line with breaking the law and committing electoral fraud. Meanwhile, Fahed remains silent.
- This article was amended at 23:45 on Monday 9 March due to unfounded comments. Pi apologises for any miscommunication and any offence caused.