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RCN deputy president election campaign resumes following suspension

College relaxes rules about electioneering after candidate disqualifications
RCN presidential election resumes after being suspended

College relaxes rules about electioneering after candidate disqualifications

Campaigning for the RCN deputy presidential election has resumed after it was halted over alleged breaches of an election rule.

The poll was suspended in August after two candidates in the campaign for president , incumbant Anne Marie Rafferty and Stuart McKenzie, were disqualified.

The college's council said they had broken a rule prohibiting the use of RCN resources namely its social media platforms and virtual branch meetings for the purposes of electioneering.

Relaxation of rule on using RCN resources for electioneering purposes

But now for this year only, the college said this rule has been relaxed for the deputy president election and candidates will indeed be allowed to campaign via RCN social media platforms and branch meetings.

The disqualifications prompted at

College relaxes rules about electioneering after candidate disqualifications

Campaigning for the RCN deputy presidential election has resumed after it was halted over alleged breaches of an election rule.

The poll was suspended in August after two candidates in the campaign for president, incumbant Anne Marie Rafferty and Stuart McKenzie, were disqualified. 

The college's council said they had broken a rule prohibiting the use of RCN resources – namely its social media platforms and virtual branch meetings – for the purposes of electioneering. 

Relaxation of rule on using RCN resources for electioneering purposes

But now – for this year only, the college said – this rule has been relaxed for the deputy president election and candidates will indeed be allowed to campaign via RCN social media platforms and branch meetings.

The disqualifications prompted at least 1,000 RCN members to sign a petition in protest, calling for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM). This was submitted to the RCN on 1 September.

The promise of a general meeting

Council chair Dave Dawes revealed the college will call a general meeting – as distinct from an EGM – shortly.

He said in a statement: 'I can assure you that council wants the issues you raised to be discussed at this (general meeting).' 

Crucially, an EGM would give the membership the power to set its own agenda, rather than voting on resolutions submitted by the college council.

Move to push ahead with a council and executive-led meeting is 'bizarre'

Mr Dawes insisted he wanted the college to be more 'member-led'. 

However, petitioner organisers Michael Brown, Linda Bailey, Ed Freshwater, Mr McKenzie, and RCN past president Andrea Spyropoulos, argue in a joint statement that the move to call a general meeting was not member-led, but an attempt to steer members away from an EGM.

'We find it bizarre that council and the executive would attempt to push ahead with their own meeting and, while there may be significant areas of agreement, there is a disturbing precedent set where the agenda is being taken away from those who raised the issue in the first place,' the statement reads.

Mr Dawes said he was surprised and disappointed by the views expressed, adding the RCN council wanted an amicable solution.

Further information on the general meeting and the presidential election will be revealed after the RCN council meets on 1 October.

Voting for RCN deputy president opens on 24 September and close on 22 October.

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