October 29, 2019

President elect asked to resign 

A Massey student is calling for MUSA President elect Stefan Biberstein to formally resign from the role.

This follows in the wake of presidential candidate Rohit Mohan being disqualified due to visa restrictions, leading Biberstein to win by default. 

It was revealed in a statement by MUSA that Biberstein received only 39% of 590 votes. 

Fourth-year student Samuel Frost has called for Stefan to either step down and trigger a by-election, or for the matter to be put to a vote at a Special General Meeting should Stefan refuse. 

“Students weren’t given the opportunity to say whether they think Stefan should represent them. If we come to the point where there is a by-election, and students decide they have no confidence in Stefan, that would demonstrate the importance of undertaking that vote,” said Frost. 

“If the results show students don’t have confidence in him, it would prove we’re currently in a position where the president doesn’t have the backing of students.”

If a by-election is held and no other candidate comes forward, Biberstein will be required to run against a vote of no confidence.

“[This] gives the students the opportunity to say whether they back what the candidate stands for or not,” Frost explained.

A vote of no confidence is valid in the MUSA elections under the constitution. If Biberstein loses to no confidence it will prohibit him from entering MUSA governance for life. 

Biberstein, however, maintains he is the best person for the job and will continue to do his best to represent students.

“I was the only legitimate candidate to stand,” he said.

“At this point, I don’t think a by-election could do anything positive for MUSA. It will either reaffirm my position as president-elect or waste a generous amount of time that could be spent working for students.” 

If a by-election were to be held, it would occur during summer school meaning that only students enrolled before the election will be eligible to vote, unless it’s postponed until semester one.

MUSA is looking into making the eligibility requirements reinforced at future elections to avoid another situation like this.

“A lot of work is going to be done to sure-up MUSA’s policy,” said Frost.