GSU elections postponed after controversy

TURA: The much hyped elections for the post of president and general secretary of the Garo Students’ Union, scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed under controversial circumstances with one faction determined to go ahead with the polls while the other opposed the alleged inclusion of fresh voters that could not be determined as genuine.
The GSU’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections for the posts of president and general secretary had to be postponed at the last minute  after differences arose over the alleged inability of the Union’s election committee to provide the necessary details as demanded by the majority of the candidates as well as zonal leaders for the holding of free and fair elections.
According to a joint statement issued by the zonal and unit leaders of the Union, a request to furnish the total number of GSU zones and units including voters’ list latest by 12:30 pm on the day of the election was not complied with by the election committee sent up by the Union.
The GSU had nominated Sanggra A Sangma, lecturer, Don Bosco College, Tura, to the post of chief election commissioner to oversee the election.
Observing that it would not be possible to properly scrutinize the fresh electoral roll and identify the genuine voters at such short notice the zonal leaders along with the candidates – Zikko Balgra N Marak, Tapseng N Sangma, Alexander Grahambell R Marak, Rupa M Marak and Tengroang R Marak – demanded that the election be conducted based on the electoral roll of the last GSU election in 2009 as additional lists received in the last minute from zones and units cannot be taken as genuine.
The leaders warned of dissolving the election committee and putting a stop to all formalities in the event of which all the zonal leaders would act as the caretaker of the GSU CEC until the date and time of the election is notified.
Following the development, the GSU election committee issued a statement shortly afterwards announcing the postponement of the elections and directing the outgoing Executive Committee to continue in office until further notice.
However, the zonal leaders and the opposing candidates have strongly voiced their opposition to the outgoing EC continuing in office, demanding that fresh polls are held under a neutral body.
“We will not accept this. The earlier EC has been dissolved, how can they continue in office when all the zonal leaders from Garo Hills, Khasi Hills and even Assam as well as majority of the contesting candidates are opposed to it?” questioned a majority of the candidates and their supporters.

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