THE UST Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) declared on Saturday a failure of elections in the special polls to fill vacant posts in the Central Student Council (CSC) Executive Board as the Central Board did not meet the quorum of 12 members to proceed with the nominations.
The session adjourned with only five out of 22 college student council presidents present in the meeting namely: Jonathan Santos (Civil Law), Reymark Simbulan (Arts and Letters), Mark Marasigan (Accountancy), Frinz Casas (Music) and Tetsuya Makino (Medicine).
CSC Secretary Therese Gorospe who is also the council’s acting president, was also present in the meeting as ipso facto member of the Central Board.
The rest of the student council presidents did not respond to invitations or were out of town despite the Comelec’s call for a special election last Jan. 27, Central Board Speaker Santos said.
The Central Board and the Comelec said they had fulfilled their duty to call for special elections, as stated in the CSC constitution and the UST Students’ Election Code (USEC).
“On the part of the Central Board, we tried our best to comply with this special elections, the nominations and processes set up by the Comelec,” Santos told the Varsitarian in an interview.
Asked why he thought most of the Central Board members were not able to attend, Artlets President Simbulan said the Comelec might not have considered their individual schedules.
“Mainly because the Comelec never considered the schedules of the [student council] presidents and whether or not it would fit with the schedule they imposed,” Simbulan told the Varsitarian.
Article 11, Section 5 of the 2003 CSC Constitution states that “In case of vacancy in any other position of the Executive Board, each member of the CSC shall nominate any local council executive board officer.”
“From among the nominees, three shall be chosen by the CSC through secret ballot to become candidates for the position,” the council’s charter further stated.
Comelec Chairman Arvin Bersonda said rescheduling the special elections was unlikely to happen due to time constraints, with only a few months left before the next CSC elections.
The CSC Constitution states that no special elections shall not be held two months before the regular elections.
“Since hindi nag-quorum ngayon, sobrang hindi na makita na may chance na magkaroon pa ng special elections for the following weeks, especially next week, three days lang ang pasok,” Bersonda said.
Bersonda added that the four CSC posts namely president, vice president, treasurer and auditor would remain vacant until the end of the academic year.
The poll body called for special elections on Jan. 26 to fill in vacant positions in the CSC Executive Board, following the resignations of the proclaimed president, vice president, treasurer and auditor last September 2017.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to clarify that Tetsuya Makino, president of the Medicine Student Council, was also present in the meeting last Feb. 3.