Panda USU Board candidate, Jiale Wang, has been disqualified from the election following a decision by the Electoral Arbiter, Magistrate Theo Tsavdaridis, which overruled an earlier temporary suspension of Wang by the Returning Officer, James Hoare.
The disqualification comes as the result of an appeal made to the Electoral Arbiter by other USU Board candidates, including Liberal-affiliated candidate Ben Hines.
Earlier this week, Pulp published screenshots of WeChat messages sent by Wang, offering to share his USU Board stipend with members of his political faction, Panda, if he were elected. Bribery is listed as a ‘Forbidden Practice at Annual Elections’ in section 8.10 of the USU Regulations.
In the messages Wang states that he “will forgo all my salary as a hidden fundings for next year’s election or activities. (please don’t leak this to the outside as this does not comply with the regulation).”
The disqualification leaves only nine candidates in the race for five Board positions. This leaves only three international students in the race; last year, three of six USU Board Directors elected were international students.
Honi Soit has reached out for comment from Wang, but he did not respond in time for publication.