Impact has learnt that Presidential Candidate Sam O’Flaherty has pulled out of the race for the position of Students’ Union President, after “a number of grievances” (formal candidate complaints, formerly known as representations) were filed against him during campaigning.
The grievances were filed in the opening days of the campaign, though Elections Committee waited until yesterday, wanting to give “careful consideration of the evidence”, before deciding that O’Flaherty had gained “considerable unfair advantage” over the other candidates running for the position. After being approached by Elections Committee on the 2nd March over the grievances, O’Flaherty subsequently withdrew his candidacy for the position.
In an official statement, Returning Officer Will Burks said, “Elections Committee regret any candidate’s withdrawal from the Elections. [We] would like to note that Sam has made significant contributions to the Students’ Union in his time at University and hope he continues to do so”.
This is the third year in a row that a Presidential candidate has either been forced out or withdrawn as a result of grievances filed against them, following the expulsion of James Phillips last year and that of Henry Blanchard the year before. Sam becomes the third candidate in two years who has resigned as as a result of the Elections diciplinary process.