Two weeks after ballot counting ended, the results of the Concordia Student Union election have been annulled.
In an email sent late Tuesday night, chief electoral officer, Oliver Cohen, informed both slates that all their candidates were disqualified, and accused them of multiple election rule violations.
Cohen also banned all members of one slate, Your Concordia, from running in any CSU election for two years, accusing the team of filing a false expense report. Your Concordia had won the executive and a council majority in the election.
The outgoing CSU executive has condemned the decision, issuing a statement calling it “shocking and unfortunate.”
“Please don’t believe for a second that any of us will have a hand in any of the rulings,” outgoing president Heather Lucas told the Concordian.
At a council meeting on Wednesday night the disqualifications were barely mentioned and Cohen was a no-show, according to the Concordian’s Sarah Deshaies.
Unsurprisingly, both slates intend to challenge the disqualifications at the union’s judicial board, which can over-rule Cohen. If the disqualifications are upheld, the current CSU executive and council will stay in office until a by-election is held in November.
The disqualifications came a week after the heads of the two slates pledged to work together on election reform. They have called for ending the practice of council affiliating with executive slates
While the results of CSU elections are inevitably subject to challenges, the last time something this big happened was in 2002. That time, the union’s judicial board nullified the results of a November by-election after the CEO disqualified and reinstated an executive slate on the first morning of voting. The nullification caused the university’s administration to sever ties with the student union until a new executive was elected in April.