Varsities set to see heated elections

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 19 Sep 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: A heated battle is set for the Universiti Malaya campus polls with the Gagasan Mahasiswa Universiti Malaya (GMUM) students going head-to-head against the pro-establishment group. 

Seventy-seven nominations were received for the nine general seats and 32 faculty seats that are being contested in the university’s 2006 / 2007 Student Representatives Council elections. 

At the launch of its manifesto at the university, GMUM representatives said they had decided to stand for elections, despite their objections to the way the polls were conducted, to test if the electoral system was as fair and just as said by the university authorities. 

“We want to see the fairness of the election mechanism in place, whether we will make it without any obstacles,” said GMUM spokesperson Mohd Nazree Mohd Yunus. 

He said that this year the university had made it difficult for all candidates by giving them a small window for getting their papers ready for nomination. 

“They dissolved the last (Student Representatives Council) on Monday but we were only allowed to get the election guidebook and forms for nomination on Friday, so we really had to scramble for signatures and get everything in order to complete the forms,” he said. 

Nominations were closed at 12.30pm yesterday. 

This year the criteria for student leader candidates, which included academic qualification and co-curriculum involvement requirements, have not been changed. 

They are also required to obtain signatures from their respective faculty deans and the student affairs department. 

In Bangi, the student elections at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) will also be a heated affair. 

UKM student body president Mohd Anas Ali said that although there were no particular issues being played out between the pro-establishment and its competitors, the Mahasiswa Penyelamat Umat (Mampu) group, they were not taking the elections lightly. 

“This year’s elections will be very heated, but we expect to hold on to the 28 seats we currently have,” he said. 

A UKM spokesman said 68 nominations for 34 seats had been accepted at the end of the objections period at noon yesterday for the 11 general and 23 faculty seats that were being contested. 

It will be a straight fight for all 34 seats being contested between Mampu and the pro-establishment group. 

Polling day will be held simultaneously at all public universities on Thursday.  

Related Stories:No contest for 11 out of 37 posts in USM Nominations pass without hitch Groups prefer ballot forms 

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