Kenyan student and Independent Candidate Gilbert Atuga won many votes in the elections for the student council. Nevertheless, the preliminary election results indicate he is set to miss out.
The Independents had submitted a list of six candidates before the elections. At the time, the current Independent council members stated that the order in which candidates were listed was unimportant as each candidate would be contesting the election individually. Whoever won the most votes would get a seat on the council.
When the election results were announced, however, it suddenly became clear that the ranking on the list had been decisive after all. Combined, the Independents managed to win 4 seats, but these seats didn't go to the candidates who had won the most votes. Bowen Tian, who was last on the list, was the only candidate to win a seat by means of preference votes.
Gilbert Atuga, fifth on the list, missed out on a seat even though he would have been entitled to enter the council based on the number of votes he received. Three of the candidates who did win a place on the council thanks to their higher ranking on the list received fewer votes than Gilbert. According to Hermijn Speelman, the student council secretary, the election regulations only govern the distribution of seats across different party lists, not the order in which candidates are placed on a list. 'That's why the election commission has judged that no official protest, as laid down in the election regulations, has been lodged against the election results themselves.' The Independent candidates will have to decide amongst themselves how to deal with the situation. For now, the candidates are staying mum on how they are going to reach their decision. It has to be taken by next week.
Vote distribution amongst the Independent candidates:
Wanjun Zhao 112
Yu Huang 80
Daohong Yang 20
Yang Jiang 77
Gilbert Atuga 163
Bowen Tian 201