By Freddie Gough
On Monday 29th January, a referendum on Zain Choudhry’s presidency was called by the Students’ Union. The ballot will read “Do you have confidence in The Students’ Union President Zain Choudhry?” and can be voted on from 5th to the 8th February.
The referendum was triggered after a petition of over 150 signatures was submitted to the Students’ Union requesting a vote of no confidence in the SU President. This vote comes in the aftermath of Zain’s interference with a DPC election in November and subsequent one-month suspension from his role at the Union.
Back in November, a screenshot from a WhatsApp group was leaked showing Mr Choudhry instructing others to “vote for Alex to be a member of the DPC instead of this William Bates as he is a very Zionist type person”. It is against Students’ Union election rules for an incumbent officer to interfere in an election and as such voting for the DPC was postponed.
Although Choudhry was suspended for his electoral interference, many students also questioned his reasoning for rallying against William Bates. In the leaked message, Mr Choudhry expresses concern over putting up “Israeli flags…outside the SU” and the fact that Bates “wants to end the BDS campaign”, which seeks to cut economic ties with Israel. Some have suggested that his comments were anti-Semitic in their nature and that the Students’ Union has not addressed this aspect of his remarks.
Mr Choudhry has not yet returned from his suspension, but if 1000 total votes are cast in the referendum and the majority swing against him it will result in his immediate removal as Students’ Union President. The results will be announced on Friday 9th February at midday.