Novum party leader accused of misconduct in University Council elections

15-06-2020

MAASTRICHT. Novum’s leader is said to have violated the code of conduct during the latest University Council elections. Various student parties have lodged a complaint. There will be a hearing on Thursday june 18th.

The case concerns the only chosen Novum member in the University Council. His case was indirectly discussed on 10 June with the U-council's Operations committee. "We have heard that it is possible to vote for someone via an automatic link," said committee chairman Wilma Klinkhamer. "So if you accidentally click on it, someone has voted." Without anyone being able to choose other lists and candidates. “Actually a phishing mail. Is that possible with our voting program?”, she asks Vice President of the Executive Board Nick Bos. He then refers to the complaint: "I assume that this is part of the complaint lodged with the [electoral] bureau?" Indeed exactly what the Novum party leader is accused off. Klinkhamer: "If this is possible, then the whole election should actually be declared invalid. ”

Unfair and undemocratic, was student party Dope’s opinion, who lodged a complaint with the Elections Office. The other groups that participated in the University Council elections – Shape/Ouranos, Climate Action Network, United Students Maastricht and Volt – also signed the letter of complaint.

“We set up a code of conduct beforehand and every party agreed to it,” says Dirk van Esser, Dope’s chairman on the phone. “It does not literally say that sending around a link like this is not allowed – there is room for interpretation – but we feel that this action is going too far. As far as we are concerned, the results don’t need to be declared invalid, the party may even keep the seat, but we feel that the person in question has no right to the seat. The Executive Board, which must officially approve the results, could take over our proposal and thus send a message that this kind of action is not fitting.”

On June 18th, the department of legal affairs will hold a hearing in which the party leader, the chairman and the secretary of the Elections Office will be heard. After that, the legal experts will give their advice to the Executive Board, which will subsequently decide if the complaint is legitimate.

Observant has asked Novum’s party board and the affected person for a reaction. Both informed that they are unaware of the complaint, let alone a hearing. Nevertheless, the party leader declares in an e-mail that this whole case “is based on nothing”.

Novum party leader accused of misconduct in University Council elections
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