By Niall O’Callaghan | @nocalla_
It’s after 5.00pm on Wednesday 11 March which means that voting in your 2020 Officer Elections has officially closed.
A total of 9,383 votes were cast, eclipsing last year’s numbers by 1,113 votes to set a new SU record. This means that the top 20 items in Bar One will have a 90p reduction on the 20 most popular food and drink items until 9.00pm tonight.
However, the final day was not without controversy in the race for Welfare Officer.
Elmo Huang released a statement on Facebook, calling on students to “stop the rumours on WeChat,” a Chinese messaging and social media platform, after rumours circulated Huang supports independence for Hong Kong.
Huang clarified their position, saying “I support the democracy in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,” and demanding “a public apology” from the students involved.
Huang also wanted to “kindly remind” those involved they have “obtained the screenshots on WeChat and several of them have shown the WeChat ID” which they will submit to the University.
Their full statement read: “Some Chinese students say that I support Hong Kong Independence. It`s absolutely ridiculous ! I have never said that in any circumstances. I seriously condemn the students who spread out these wrong information and I strongly demand them to deliver a public apology to me.
“Additionally, the rumours were delivered out intensively and systematically. I reasonably suspect there might be someone hidden the scene organizing this rumour outbreak…. I hope what I doubt is completely nonsense or it’s truly the harm to democracy.
“To make it clear, I announce it again here. I support the democracy in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
“I come from Taiwan and I am proud to say that. Taiwan is currently under the regime of R.O.C. (中華民國).
“Taiwanese people/students should not have fears to show their opinions among or outside of the campus. All of the students have the freedom of speech in the UK.
“It`s so absurd that our opinions and discourse are censored by the other students` group.
“Furthermore, It is not merely about the freedom of speech. It’s much worse because they put the words into my mouth. They(Few Chinese students) declare something that I never mention in the past. I will Never Accept this kind of insulting/misunderstanding.”
Rival Welfare candidate Chris Burrey was quick to support the Taiwanese student. In a statement on his Facebook, Burrey said: “Elmo is a fellow candidate in the Welfare race, and I’m saddened to hear they’ve been attacked on WeChat. We should not resort to dirty politics and vilifying. The dispute with China and Hong Kong is a contested one, and one which should not be included with the Welfare SU council election.
“I have spoken with Elmo and, despite us being rival candidates, I have offered my support to them and I have no doubt they will still be their brilliant charismatic self throughout the voting period.”
“Appreciate Chris! You truly have integrity” replied Huang.
Results of the Officer Elections will be announced tomorrow, Thursday 12 March, in a ceremony in Foundry from 7.30pm. Attendance is free and Forge TV will be live streaming the whole event on their YouTube channel.
By Niall O’Callaghan | @nocalla_