The 2021 KNUST college, faculty, and department elections kicked off with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Students’ Association (CANaRSA) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CoHSS) on 7th June 2021. There were 7 polling stations for both colleges. The election was stipulated to start at 9 am prompt.
The elections began some minutes after 10:30 am due to issues from the UITS. The ECs from the various colleges expected a good voter turnout but stated that the delay from the UITS deterred some students from voting.
In an exclusive interview with the Deputy SRC EC, Mr. Barrister predicted a somewhat good voter turnout for the day. Here’s what he had to say:
“Averagely, we are looking at a voter turnout of 6 out of 10 students. Looking at people not having classes today, the low enthusiasm of leaving their rooms to vote, and then also the delay in the time of starting. These are the contributing factors to the 6. Maybe earlier I would have said 8 but I think we will be looking out for a good voter turnout today.”
Some shocking happenings took place the night before the election. Mr. Sampson Buabeng and Mr. Prince Kwaning (presidential aspirants for CoHSS), Mr. Asante Ahmed, and Antwi Alswell (presidential aspirants for CANaRSA) were disqualified last night. The ECs of the colleges stated in the press releases that these aspirants did not meet certain constitutional requirements hence their disqualification. This is the KSB EC’s (Master Steven Koranteng) opinion about the issue:
“We are part of the system and from the beginning, we’ve had various engagements with the aspirants and they sign an undertaking that so far as whenever we check their CWAs or whenever you check anything regarding their constitutional requirements and they do not fulfill those constitutional requirements, they will be withheld from the elections. Even if it is on the election day. So, they’ve signed an undertaking to this. With regards to the information they provided, that was not valid. They did not provide us with the right information so it is in our power to make sure that we disqualify them… we did what the constitution stipulated us to do.”
Miss Juliet (LASU) was also of a different view, “…I think if they can do something about it, it will be better. Looking at the toil that some of the candidates go through, a vice president gets affected then it affects the president. I think that it’s kind of harsh so an amendment or review on that decision so that things like these will be sorted”.
The polls were supposed to end at 5 pm but were extended to 6 pm just so more electorates could exercise their franchise. The final results for the colleges were announced at the IDL conference room an hour and 30 minutes after the closing of the polls. After the declaration at the IDL conference room, the 2 ECs from the colleges moved to Focus FM to declare the results again.
The delay in elections is gradually becoming a culture which and it has to be checked ASAP. The ECS claimed they were well prepared for the election and so the fault doesn’t lie with them but the UITS. Apologies have been rendered and assurances have been made, but has the root cause been addressed? The subsequent elections will tell.
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