AUU Election Tribunal excludes Director-elect Leo from election results
Words by Ethan Penglase
The Adelaide University Union Election Tribunal has today decided that former Director-elect Zihan (Leo) Liu (International Voice) will not be elected to the AUU Board after finding that allegations of misconduct were legitimate.
Separate complaints were made by Progress’s Oscar Ong and Stella Woo, and Swipe Right’s Angus Heaton.
Complaints were also made about other members of International Voice, though the allegations were not substantiated.
The reasons for the Tribunal’s decision are not publicly available and the Union has refused to give any comment to On Dit. However, the decision is likely based on events that occurred on the weekend before and during election week.
On the weekend before the election, Leo and other members of his party, International Voice, removed banners of rival party Progress from campus. Progress leader Ong reported the theft to SAPOL.
During the election week, Leo made a post on his personal WeChat account claiming that he had reported members of Progress to the Chinese Embassy for displaying banners that were ‘openly against socialism and communism’.
Progress, a self-declared apolitical party, said in a Facebook post that their banners were not against socialism or communism, but rather against rival party Socialist Alternative.
Leo maintains that his actions did not impact the results of the student election. He blames Progress for taking a screenshot of his post and sharing it on Facebook and with the media, essentially making the ‘threat’ real.
“Just my friends on WeChat could see that” Leo told On Dit, “there is no share button.”
Leo also said he was “disappointed” that Ong went to the media about the election issues rather than allowing the Union to resolve the matter privately. Ong told SBS that he fears for his personal safety and that Chinese students are “very, very scared of issues like this”. However, Leo doubts Ong’s claims.
“He’s from Malaysia. He’s just saying this to benefit himself.
“Many people think the Chinese government is scary — I don’t understand.”
None of the complainants were Chinese nationals.
The vacancy left by Leo will be filled by Progress’s Jing Soong Goh. The election of Goh will shift the balance of power on the AUU Board, making it likely that Ong will be the next AUU president.
Leo said that he accepts the decision of the Tribunal.