Better luck next time.
Just six of the 75 seats in the University Student Government (USG) were won in this year’s General Elections (GE), according to the list of official winners released by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) last April 7. Only the candidates from Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista (Tapat) who vied for the positions of EDGE2014 Batch Representatives, FAST2014 Batch Vice President and Legislative Assembly (LA) Representative, and College of Science College President were able to win the seats they ran for.
Last March, COMELEC declared multiple candidates ineligible to run in separate statements due to inconsistencies and incomplete candidacy requirements, leaving only a final group of 42 candidates vying for various positions in the USG.
Santugon sa Tawag ng Panahon received the strongest blow when their entire slate was deemed ineligible after having failed to submit a soft copy of “Their Takes”. Several Tapat candidates, on the other hand, had incomplete Certificates of Candidacy which made them unable to participate, while others were later removed from the running after it was discovered that they had failed to file a leave of absence in their organization.
The impact of these series of events became more apparent later on as initial tallies of voter turnout provided by the commission on March 31 suggested the possibility of multiple vacancies. According to their statistics, only four colleges attained the 50%+1 minimum, and the GE reaching an overall turnout of only 35.9%. The lower turnout also implied that none of the Executive Board positions would be filled.
However, the USG had already begun working on contingency measures since mid-March on the possibility of a potential failure of elections. In an LA session last March 27, the legislative body passed a resolution specifying the guidelines for a Special Elections to be held before the end of this term. This was decided in order to fill the positions left vacant immediately after the conclusion of the GE.
As of press time, interested parties have already completed the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The campaign period, meanwhile, is scheduled to begin a day after the GE results, April 8, and will conclude on April 13.