Shadab Ahmed has violated election rules by using a 'pre-existing social media page' for 'selective promotion of a candidate'Bella Peng

The CUSU-GU Elections Committee has issued a formal warning to candidate Shadab Ahmed, after the candidate liked a promotional post for his campaign on a Christ’s College Freshers 2018 Facebook page, but did not bring it to the attention of the Elections Committee. The post was made by one of his campaigners.

The Elections Committee found Ahmed’s actions in violation of section 3.2 of the CUSU/GU election rules, which states that “use of pre-existing email lists, social media pages or groups for the purpose of promoting your candidacy is not permitted. [...] Selective promotion of a candidate from a non-society social media page shall be considered a pre-existing list for these purposes.”

The use of Christ’s College’s pre-existing Freshers 2018 Facebook page for the promotion of his campaign fit the description of “selective promotion of a candidate”, thus violating the rule.

Ahmed replied to a Varsity comment request that he had been aware of the rules on pre-existing social media groups, but said that “Facebook only notified me that a student had shared the post, and so I liked the post, it did not show that the post was shared to a group specifically”.

He was not aware that he had violated election rules “until the warning was posted online”. Only then did he see that the post had been shared to a group rather than on the campaigner’s facebook timeline, according to Ahmed.

This is not the first time for Ahmed to receive a warning from the Elections Committee. He had received an informal warning when he was found to have violated rule 4.2, which stipulates that candidates should not make public their candidacy before campaigning begins. Ahmed publicly announced his candidacy before campaigning period had opened via his Facebook story. The story was removed promptly at the time, according to the Election Committee’s ruling.


Mountain View

Despite a number of highly-contested races, CUSU/GU election hustings see little conflict

The Elections Committee ensures the observance of election rules during CUSU and GU elections. Candidates who are found to have contravened election rules may face an informal warning, a formal warning, a campaign ban or disqualification.

CUSU Women’s Officer candidate Kate Litman has also faced an informal warning for directly seeking endorsement from a pre-existing group, in a group chat for Cambridge Defend Education, earlier this week.

This year’s CUSU President candidates are Shadab Ahmed and Edward Parker Humphreys.

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