This year’s KSM (Kunsill Studenti MCAST) election, held earlier this week, has been so ambiguous and certainly unacceptable.
It is unbelievable that in 2016, we have a democratic election amongst students, who are supposedly considered as possibly the most open-minded, and there is explicit evidence of irregularities all throughout the election.
However, what I find more unbelievable and obscene is the fact that there is a student political organisation that is suggesting that the votes upon which no irregularities were found, should be counted. The argument put forward by said organisation is that these boxes were valid and thus they cannot be avoided.
Nonetheless, the bottom-line is that there were three boxes with missing registers, one of which was not even sealed. In any election in any civilised country, these three boxes would be enough to conclude that the election was a farce and that the electoral commission has completely lost control of the situation. SDM have made it clear that these elections should be nullified completely and that new elections should take place – I believe they are absolutely right in saying so. Pulse’s argument that there were more than a thousand transparent votes is quite absurd, as nothing really remains transparent when such irregularities are unearthed.
The abnormalities in those three boxes are enough to raise doubts regarding the whole election and although there were institutes with no visible indiscretions, no one can guarantee with absolute certainty that there were no irregularities within these too. And to anyone who is claiming that all commission members agreed on commencing the counting of votes – are you sure you know what you are talking about? In my opinion, any commission members who agreed that the counting should begin were definitely unaware of the burden of such a decision.
I highly doubt that they then realised that those three boxes reflect poorly on student activism. Probably the most stunning thing is that if such a thing happened during University Elections, it would have caused huge uproar from any party to the game, but for certain MCAST students these things are actually acceptable - they even claim that the reason why SDM members stormed out of the counting hall was because, “kienu jafu li m’ghandhomx cans.”
On a final note, I believe that in times when student activism is facing struggles, counting the votes on Thursday night in those circumstance would have confirmed the claim of many - that student activism is a waste of time.