At What Expense?

Six Councilors and Solo Senate Seat Disqualified

The Concordia Student Union 2012 general elections have been marred by disqualifications, allegations, and overall confusion–and it’s not over yet.

According to an email from CSU Chief Electoral Officer Ismail Holoubi, six councilors and the only senate seat have been disqualified after failing to submit their campaigning expense forms.

Those disqualified include Charles Branchley, Johnny Alexandar, and Veryan Goodship from the 13 Arts and Science council seats. Rami Khoriaty, and Ali Tahouni, from Engineering’s three seats, Yassine Chaabi from the John Molson School of Business’ four seats, and Bella Giancotta, the only Fine Arts senate seat.

“We were disqualified for not filing expense reports, but we had no expenses,” said Ramy Khoriaty, former CSU VP Finance & Clubs and one of the two disqualified engineering councilors.

According to Khoriaty none of the seven disqualified candidates accumulated any campaign expenses. He also claims that the CEO is to blame for lack of organization and a failure to communicate the proper instructions.

“They were disqualified according to the directive that was in the expense form,” said Holoubi. “The link for the expense form was emailed to them, and it was stated in the email. It is their job to fill out their forms.”

In an email to The Link, Holoubi cited article 222 of the CSU bylaws, which states that every candidate must file a return of election expenses with the CEO within four days of the closing of polls.

In the same email, Holoubi also cites the directive on the expense form, which states that “[…] even those candidates/committees that incur no expenses must submit this form.”

Still, Khoriaty and the other candidates feel they have been misguided.

“It’s the CEO’s fault because it wasn’t clearly stated in an email,” said Khoriaty. “That information was very hidden.”

The disqualifications pose many problems for the CSU, most notably in that quorum can no longer be met at council meetings, and therefore no decisions made are binding.

The group plans to appeal the decision to the Judicial Board. At the time of publication six out of seven candidates had confirmed that they will be filing the same appeal, however as they have not yet met as a full group, further details could not be provided.

“We’ll be contesting the decision for sure,” said Khoriaty. “It hasn’t been decided whether or not we’ll take it further and file complaints against the CEO. We’re going against his decision for now.”

More to come.