“Connect” faction and Young Liberals put on notice by Returning Officer for “serious breach” of election rules

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Pictured: email from the Returning Officer to Connect faction

In an email sent to the Liberal Club Committee and Connect candidates Friday, the AUU Returning Officer warned them that they had committed an action or actions, constituting a serious breach of election rules.

On Dit understands this is connected to a post made by the Liberal Club on their Facebook page, attacking the current Labor Club President and the ‘Unite’ SRC Presidential Candidate. This post was then shared by a Connect candidate to ‘Overheard at the University of Adelaide’.

This constituted a breach of clauses 25.2.15 and 25.2.16 of the election rules, which state that:

25.2 Notwithstanding clause 25.1.2, and 25.3 the following material can never be Permitted Material:

25.2.15 Any comments literally or figuratively, on any candidates, or group of candidates, in an annual election or by-election, or in the issues in a referendum, or on any part of the electoral process on a social media group that any members of group are not personally known to the sender.

25.2.16 Any comments literally or figuratively, on any candidates or group of candidates, in an annual election or by-election, or on the issues in a referendum, or on any part of the electoral process on any organisations/s and/or service/s funded within the last five years by Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF)’s social media.

The email also stated that the RO has cross-referenced the Liberal Club Committee and found that the majority of members were candidates with the ‘Connect’ ticket.

Ironically, as pointed out by the RO, the rules in question were the same one that Liberal Club President, Connect faction member, and AUU Vice President Angus Heaton had previously submitted complaints to the RO about other candidates breaching. The RO further noted that as such:

“the AULC did in fact know that this action was prohibited under the rules and proceeded regardless”.

This comes after Connect candidate Tom Ralph was disqualified by the RO from the general election for multiple breaches of the election rules.

The RO is yet to determine a final sanction to be placed upon the faction for their rule breach.

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Adelaide University student magazine since 1932. Edited by Nicholas Birchall, Felix Eldridge, Taylor Fernandez and Larisa Forgac. Email us at onditmag@gmail.com

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