The student elections, which are considered the first elections in the frame of the final amendments of the student statute issued in 2007, end tomorrow.May be anyone following these elections in the last few years would think that this is the worst
that student elections could ever get. This is because of security interference and the administration control over the students and the latter’s incapability of communicating with the rest of university students. However, AFTE expected that the final amendments will aggravate things more which is what exactly took place through its follow up on the student elections be it through live testimonials from the university or through the fuss that arose around them in national, opposition and private newspapers.
With the amendments of the Statute which imposed the condition of paying the academic fees as a condition for nomination or voting, the percentage of participation is now less than the usual. This can also be due to the reluctance of political currents from participation in most of the faculties which increased silence around elections from the one hand. From the other, this decreased the number of students who turned-out for the elections and who belonged to political currents. This is especially when some of the faculties excluded the nominated students who belong to political currents either through excluding them from the lists claiming that they have previous student activities or through the refusal to receive their nomination do*****ents in the first place.
The intense blackout that surrounded the elections was from the elements that characterized this year’s elections. There is a state of not understanding and absence of information that one feels even inside the offices of the Youth Care responsible for the election process. The Association thinks that part of this blackout is intended and another part is caused by the ignorance of the responsible individuals for these elections from Youth Care employees with what is happening. In the frame of the final amendments for the Statute, still some of its articles are not clear enough to the university staff especially with the delay of the faculties’ administrative and financial Regulations as well as the amendments in the structure of the union.
In relation to the intended part of the blackout, its features are shown and on top of them is the delay in the announcement of the time of the elections until October 5th which was in the middle of the Fitr Feast and October 6th as well as opening the door for nominations for 6 hours on October 7th which immediately followed the holidays and most of the students have not gone back to the regular attendance in most of the university colleges. Furthermore, the administration intended to delay of the appearance of any ads or results like final nomination lists till the final hours of the day after most of the students have already left to avoid student protests.
In addition to this, no banners were hung or even the minimum that would not be observed which would announce the time of the elections or nominees or to call students to participate.
Finally, one can feel this blackout well; through the intense turmoil that the employees would experience and their rejection to give any information if anyone tried to ask them about what is happening.
The results of the elections were very weak and just procedural and all its results were all uncontested winnings and may be some statements in newspapers were conflicted around the real percentages of participation and around the numbers of colleges in which the elections all resulted in unopposed wins and in which there was real competition which is part and parcel of the intended blackout situation of the university administration.
Based on this, AFTE demands the university administration to release all the accurate information around what is happening behind the closed doors of the student elections as one of the rights of society and university students especially to understand how their representatives are chosen. The Association also demands university administrations to announce the percentage of participation in these elections.