The vote for a new Toronto Metropolitan Student Union executive has been delayed again, this time until the fall semester, due to new evidence that officials say raise significant concerns about the entire election process.
The Elections and Referenda Committee (ERC) announced Tuesday it is cancelling the in-person election scheduled for April 11 to 13 and is initiating an independent, third-party investigation into election misconduct during the 2023 general elections. The moves are the latest development in an ongoing drama that began when the ERC deemed the March elections invalid due to various forms of candidate misconduct.
“The ERC has come to the conclusion that there has been, and continues to be, persistent intentional efforts to undermine the integrity of the entire TMSU election process,” the committee said Tuesday in a statement released on the TMSU website.
“The ERC is of the view that the integrity of the entire election process – both the nominations and the vote that already took place – has been irredeemably compromised,” the statement continued. “It would not be possible to ensure that the vote currently planned for next week would result in a fair election result.”
The TMSU will appoint temporary executive members and board directors who will hold office until the fall vote.
“All TMSU members will be eligible to put themselves forward for consideration for these interim positions,” said the statement. In an email, however, the ERC said that pending further investigation it is still “up in the air” whether candidates disqualified in last month’s election can seek one of the temporary appointments or run for office in the fall.
- 8.1.32, Unauthorized Campaigners: No two or more candidates may have their campaign benefit from the same non-arm’s length party, unless the candidate’s are registered to the same slate.
- 8.1.38. Cross-campaigning is not allowed between multiple slates or non-slate candidates.
- 8.2.4. A candidate’s total expenditure includes all campaign materials and other materials that endorse or support them. This may include situations where a non-arm’s length party supports a candidate or group of candidates and produces materials without the consent of the candidate.
- 8.1.16. Any attempt to undermine the electoral process including, but not limited to, interference with or compromising the TMSU’s online voting systems.
- 8.1.14. Malicious or intentional breach of code.
TMU president Mohamed Lachemi told On The Record earlier this week that the university respects the ERC decision and will continue to monitor the situation.
“It’s important to remember that the TMSU is a separate corporation from the university with its own governance structures and bylaws. The university does not have any jurisdiction over decisions of the TMSU,” he said.