Selecting a New AGS: The Electoral Inconsistencies

Last week Wednesday, a notice was put out by the electoral committee inviting applications from members of UIMSA interested in becoming the new Assistant General Secretary. This came as a surprise as not many were aware that the previous occupant of the office had resigned. After reaching out to the Senate, an official notice which duly informed members of the Association was sent out and that laid to rest the issue of non-communication.

According to the notice made by the Electoral Committee, the bye-election has been slated for Saturday, the 4th of November, which is about 3 days away. However, there has been no list of eligible or screened applicants put out by the Electoral Committee as is constitutionally required.

Article XXIII (Elections) of the Constitution states that – “The list of candidates qualified to contest the elections shall be conspicuously displayed on approved notice boards and other approved media platforms of the Association at least seven (7) days before the date of the elections.”  This criterion has not been met, thus leading to the logical conclusion that conducting the scheduled bye-election will be unconstitutional, thus rendering the results of that election as invalid.

As expected with elections held within the Association, there is to be a Manifesto Night which is typically preceded by a Press Night. A member of the editorial board was contacted on Monday and was informed of a Virtual Manifesto night scheduled for Friday thus necessitating a Press Night to hold on Thursday. This indicates a decision on the part of the Electoral Committee to go ahead with these events despite the breach of the Constitution.

It is important to state, however, that it is highly unlikely that this breach is deliberate. While it might be an honest mistake on the part of the Electoral Committee, it would quite unfortunate if such a mistake leads to the wastage of all the effort put in thus far in the process of electing a new Assistant General Secretary.

Osisiogu Onyinyechi


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