UNION SCANDAL: Lee disqualified, McGinley elected in recount

The election for Secretary was recounted after Lee Chin Wee was found guilty of electoral malpractice.

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Celeste McGinley has been elected as the Union’s Secretary following the disqualification of RISE candidate Lee Chin Wee for electoral malpractice.

After votes for Lee were disqualified, McGinley was elected with 415 first preferences to Hugh Bellamy’s 342.

In an electoral tribunal which began on Friday and ended on Saturday morning, Lee was found guilty of electoral malpractice relating to the forging of nomination papers which members of the RISE slate had claimed were evidence of election tampering during the campaign.

In a separate tribunal, RISE candidate for Librarian Ayman D’Souza was also found guilty of electoral malpractice and disqualified. The malpractice charges related to a Facebook post in which D’Souza publicly alleged his nomination forms had been forged. D’Souza had stood in the election for Treasurer, which was won by fellow RISE member Beatrice Barr, after his nomination form was submitted incorrectly.

Lee reportedly submitted a written statement to the Tribunal in which he plead guilty, and in addition to his disqualification also faces a six-term election ban. D’Souza similarly faces an election ban until Trinity 2020.

The same tribunal found that President-Elect Brendan McGrath “had no case to answer” on an allegation brought against him.

Following the disqualification of Lee and D’Souza, sources within the Union told Cherwell that there had been discussions of an attempt to impeach RISE Presidential candidate Sara Dube and Treasurer candidate Beatrice Barr, both of whom were elected last Friday.

Lee Chin Wee, RISE slate leader Sara Dube, Brendan McGrath, the Union’s Returning Officer, and the Oxford Union have been contacted for comment. Ayman D’Souza declined to comment.  

This article was amended on the 24th June to clarify that Lee Chin Wee submitted a written admission of guilt prior to the Tribunal. It was also amended to specify that Brendan McGrath was found to have no case to answer by the tribunal, contrary to a previous assertion that allegations against him were dismissed due to lack of evidence.

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