Brendan Ma, a prominent young Liberal on campus, has decided to enter the contest for the presidency of the Students’ Representative Council after telling Honi just two days ago that he didn’t intend to run.
Ma has been a rumoured candidate for a year now, but explained his decision as a result of learning that his ticket has a “huge base of support” and that the “other candidates were… hacks focused on their own egos and factions”. Ma stressed that he had only come to this decision since Honi contact him two days ago.
Within the young Liberals, Ma belongs to the powerful NSW moderate faction. Former Liberal Prime Minister Tony Abbott has characterised that group at a state level as “lobbyists”, “factionalists” and “string-pullers”.
Among University of Sydney student politics enthusiasts, it has been widely rumoured that Imogen Grant and Isabella Pytka, the two other presidential candidates, intended to run for some weeks.
As committed student politicians, Pytka and Grant’s hack status has never been in doubt.
Pytka said that her ticket “have not been in negotiations with Brendan at all”. She added that “there were rumours about his entry and we did assume he might enter”.
Pytka’s assertion that no-one on her ticket was in negotiations with Ma is unusual, as both Student Unity (Labor right) and NLS (Labor left), who support Pytka, have run with the Liberals in previous elections.
According to Grant, her ticket has never negotiated with Ma. “We would never negotiate with Liberals”, she said.
Nominations for all SRC positions close tomorrow, Wednesday August 16, at 4:30pm.