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Tariq Khan presidential invalidation timeline
(Hayley Lim / McGill Tribune)

Tariq Khan files case to suspend his electoral invalidation

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Tariq Khan will bring an interim injunction to the Superior Court of Québec this Friday, May 30 regarding Elections SSMU’s invalidation of his presidential win and the Judicial Board (J-Board) ruling that the invalidation would be upheld. On May 27, Khan announced that he was planning to take legal action to contest the invalidation.

Khan stated that he has now filed a case with the Superior Court, seeking for the court to grant a safeguard order that would reinstate him as the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) President until a full hearing occurs.

The defendants in the case, according to Khan’s lawyer, François Longpré of Borden Ladner Gervais, include SSMU; Ben Fung, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Elections SSMU; David Koots, the Deputy Electoral Officer (DEO); and members of the J-Board. Courtney Ayukawa, who is currently the SSMU president-elect, will be a third party in this case.

Longpré also stated that a full hearing regarding the case would address SSMU’s procedural methods.

“The petition alleges breaches of rules of natural justice in the adjudication process at Elections SSMU and the Judicial Board,” Longpré said.

Khan claimed that Elections SSMU had not followed correct procedure in investigating his campaign. He highlighted Elections SSMU’s public censure of his campaign and its decision to redact certain witness testimony it used as evidence during the investigation of his campaign.

“In law—in any procedure—if there is a procedural violation, then the decision becomes void and the decision is overturned,” Khan said. “Elections SSMU has been hiding information from me and not giving me a fair chance to defend myself [….] I was not consulted about [the decision to publicly censure my campaign]. I was not allowed to see the evidence that had been used against me.”

Following the Apr. 29 J-Board hearing, Chief Justice Bennet Misskey explained that the ability to redact certain pieces of evidence is necessary to protect sources who wish to remain anonymous.

“The CEO relies on the use of informants in the process of gathering and evaluating evidence of bylaw infractions,” he said. “Oftentimes, these informants will only come forward if they can be assured that their identity will be protected. The evidence that was redacted in the case of the Khan hearing […] was evidence that would put the informants’ identity at risk.”

Khan has stated that he is planning to overhaul the management of SSMU if his request for a safeguard is granted by the Superior Court.

“If we do win the case, it would raise some serious questions about the internal procedures of SSMU,” Khan said. “I claim to be a student leader, [and the title] comes with great steps and bold actions.”

Khan plans to finance the case using his own funds as well as donations from others.

“I sold everything I could—all my savings I’m putting towards [this case],” he said. “At the same time, those that have supported me have [also] contributed.”

According to Khan, an expedited hearing could take three to five months. Ayukawa is set to take the presidential position on Jun. 1.

Misskey, Fung, and Pauline Gervais, the General Manager of SSMU, declined to comment on the court case.

  • jed bush

    filing an injunction costs no less than $20 000, which is also about the yearly salary of the ssmu prez

  • Real Talk

    As class mate of a Tariq, claiming to be a “student leader” is a huge stretch. Having heard Tariq openly admit to me that he wants to position solely for the power it brings and as well as personally witnessing the solicitation of votes by his mignons, when is he going to look himself in the mirror and realize he is not the right choice for this position? Had he played by the rules this would all not have come up. So what now, he’s going to use a loop hole which capitalizes on SSMU election inexperience with presidential invalidation (because lets face it, why would you go out of way to cheat so blatantly for an election that no one actually votes)? I don’t how entitled and privileged you need to be, to make this much of a fuss. But my guess would a boat load. If Tariq Khan was really a student leader he would admit to himself the treachary he has committed and let this go. But I guess we can’t all be as entitled and privileged now can we?

    • utterlyconfused

      So being a class mate of Tariq Khan, did you raise these concerns to him ? All we see are anonymous people who are trying to defame him by bringing all sorts of bullshit with no grounds.

      Now the question remains, WHAT DID HE DO ????? Why did all the complaints come AFTER he got elected? And WHO WERE these people ??? WHY DOES THE CEO has unchecked powers ???

      All we see is hear say.. I heard him say this and that ? DO YOU HAVE ANY PROOF ?

      HOW did he FORCE people, and why didnt they call the cops if his gang was forcing people to vote ? atleast why didnt they voice out the concerns during the elections.

      Do you even know what he must be going through… It takes A LOT OF GUTS to go to the court. and NO ONE WOULD take the matter to the Superior Court if they did something wrong.

      The guy claims that he was not shown the evidence against him…. So you invalidate the entire elections of a candidate and dont show him the evidence.. THIS IS ALL SO FUCKED UP…

      What power does a SSMU President get now come on…. He probably cant be the president cz a cute girl planned it well enough and stole the mandate of 1785 students.

      • KIM TREMBLAY AKA REAL TALK

        I did raise the concern to Tariq. It was claimed to be “bizzarre” by him. Given it was exam time and like any SERIOUS student I tried to make time to meet with him but it didn’t work out on both ends. People stayed anonymous in this situation as it has already generated so much attention, why deflect some of it one to you? So you stay anonymous so at least your voice is heard and some of Tariq’s bullshit gets diluted out and other people perspective are seen especially ones who’ve seen wrong doings happen.

        “No one would take the matter to the Superior Court if they did something wrong” … that is some flawed logical and I guess life would be a lot easier for the rich with inflated egos if that’s the ONLY test they had to pass to get everything they wanted in life. Really? like how is this even an arguement?

        I am not saying the way SSMU went about it was the best… I am saying by doing what he did to put them in the situation to make this kind of decision (which they shouldn’t have to do…it’s not hard to adhere by the rules in a transparent NON- SHADY manner, it’s a goddamn university election where most people DON’T vote, the own student body doesn’t care about this) is wrong.

        “Force people” — most people don’t care about this election… having his mignons go to people on quiet study floors and have zero shame in order to scavenge votes by hovering over students telling them to vote for him. If I was a student who didn’t care about the election and I didn’t want to be rude to this random dude wanting me to vote for his random friend I could care less about, yeah I’d take the second to get this guy off my back. So no I wouldn’t want to call the police… but I think it’s ironic that Tariq is fighting for those who voted for him…. when in the case of several people on the Trottier quiet floor…these are empty votes! So I wonder how many “empty” votes Tariq is “fighting for” in court.

        Lastly… Courtney is cute! and you know what else? She is smart, genuine, dedicated and wait for it….. ACTUALLY made a difference in this university rather than find different ways to manipulate the system for their own ego and gain like perhaps … other candidates. So next time don’t associate “stealing” an election to “cuteness” as that excuse is used too many times when women are seen succeeding and it actually quite an empty minded statement.

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