Omar El-Sharawy was elected Vice-President (VP) Internal of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) with 4807 points earlier today The runner-up, Kahli Douglas, got 4445 points. The turnout for the election was 8.7 per cent.
SSMU President Kareem Ibrahim explained that since the 2014-2015 school year, SSMU has been using a preferential ballot system for all elections.
“The reason [we implemented the preferential ballot system] was so that there would be a way for votes essentially not to be lost if certain candidates were not elected in a race that had more than two candidates,” Ibrahim explained. “It originally came out of the 2013-2014 presidential election, and that was because they didn’t want someone to feel that their vote is wasted.”
The preferential ballot system accounts for the order in which students rank their preferences for candidates. If a candidate wins the majority of votes—that is, they are ranked as the first choice by the majority of students—then they are elected. If no candidate has enough first place ranks to warrant a majority, then the candidate with the least amount of first place votes is eliminated. The rankings are then re-counted.
Ibrahim stated that he was looking forward to working with El-Sharawy.
“[I’m] definitely looking forward to working with Omar,” Ibrahim said. “I was on Council with him two years ago and I know he has a lot of ideas. What I especially appreciate about Omar is that he is willing to identify issues at SSMU that can be improved upon, and I hope that is something we’ll actualize with his time here. I’m looking forward to having him as part of the team.”
El-Sharawy explained that he was excited to join the SSMU executive team.
"I am ecstatic to become the next VP Internal,” he said. “Although I will only have four months, I will ensure to continue the great work of the executive team and [the Students’ Society Network Program] (SSPN) who have managed to uphold the VP Internal responsibilities, create new platforms to engage the student body and promote student engagement and consultation. I am excited to become part of such a hard working executive team and work together to tackle our weaknesses and improve our strengths."
The other candidates were Lou Bernardi, who got 4388 points, Jason Rutman, who got 3639 points, and Tim Mapley, who got 3241 points.
This most recent by-election was called as the previous election for VP Internal failed to elect a student to the position, and 51.7 per cent of students voted “No” to Alexei Simakov, the only candidate running. The position was left vacant after Lola Baraldi resigned earlier this year.
El-Sharawy’s term is scheduled to begin in January.