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December 6, 2001 Delayed CSU election results expected today



by Sigalit Hoffman

Jessica Lajambe, chief electoral officer for the Concordia Student Union election, was worried that her efforts to bring in a new student government would have been for nothing. But now she has new hope that the election results might not be challenged.

“I received a lot of complaints,” she said, “but complaints are not contestations.” An official challenge could have led to the election being annulled. Though Lajambe admitted “these elections have been more heated than normal,” she hopes the measures she has taken will keep the election valid.

The CEO extended regular voting until last Friday in a last-ditch effort to keep the election viable. She also gave students whose votes were disqualified until yesterday to recast their ballots.

Temporary disqualification

Lajambe temporarily disqualified the Representative Union (RU) at the start of the election last Tuesday. She made the decision after Luis Diaz, presidential candidate for the New Organized Way (NOW), brought her a tape of a conversation he had with the RU’s VP communications candidate, Nilli Yavin. On the tape, Yavin allegedly tried to convince Diaz to drop out of the electoral race in exchange for a student leadership position or sponsorship in next year’s election. “Maybe it wasn’t a paid position, [but] it was a position of power,” Lajambe said. “That equally can be understood as bribery, or at least a corruption of power.” However, she restored the RU around noon on Tuesday after receiving a letter from a lawyer representing RU presidential candidate Chris Schulz threatening legal action.

“The legality of this alleged recording is highly questionable at best,” retorted Schulz to The Link. “Lajambe is using this as an excuse to disqualify us.”

Lajambe said she allowed the RU back on the ballots for the same reason she had originally disqualified it: to prevent the election from being contested. However, the students who voted on Tuesday morning filled in ballots with the RU candidates’ names crossed off. Lajambe and her helpers tried to reach each of these 400-500 students and offer them the chance to vote again.

Mixed reactions among students

Though the election might still be called into question, the results should be announced today. Anyone who wants to contest the election will have three days to do so once the results are announced.

The confusion during the election sparked controversy among the competing parties and drew mixed reactions from students. “I think it’s unfair towards the Representative Union,” said second-year biochemistry student Yamilee Jacques. “That’s politics — they always pull out some dirty tricks — but to disqualify them, I thought it was kind of pushing it.”

Alex Wasylyk, a first-year software engineering student, said the incident didn’t sway him, but he would still like to see the New Organized Way win. “They seem very representative of the student body, and that’s very important given the fact that the current CSU was not representative of all of my needs.”