Students lining up to cast their vote. Photo: Ruci Vakamino.

By Lowen Sei

The University of the South Pacific’s Student Association has successfully concluded their By-elections held at the Orange Lounge, Laucala Campus.

The By-election was purposely held to fill in the 9 vacant positions that was previously held by students but moved to other roles within the University.

Although the turnout was poor with only 500 plus student voting out of the 12,000 students registered at the University, the event progressed as planned.

Out of the two contesting parties, Student first party managed to produce a landslide victory with all of their candidates voted into the vacant positions, Cruziendra Vibose won the Religious committee chairperson post , Derrick Liosulia won the Chairperson for Welfare and Development committee post, Jerry Wala got the Non-residential rep position, Lizel Lupe D Lopa: Womens Rep, Cherl Epu: FSTE Postgraduate rep, Tiuria Kanimea: FBE Undergrad rep, Paulson Garae: FALE Postgraduate rep, and lastly Koru Tionee Tebakabo won the Education committee chairperson position.

Speaking after the election, returning officer, Farisha Nigar said that the process went smoothly, and that there was no evidence breach of protocol by both parties.

Winning candidate, Martin David also conveyed his acknowledgment to the students who came out to vote despite a low number.

“Firstly, I would like to thank my fellow party members, and other individuals who made this campaign a successful one,” he said.

“I would also like to thank the students who came out to vote, even though not every student participated, but I think it is understandable because this is just a by-election, and most didn’t take it seriously or are probably busy with their studies.”

He also said that it will be his party’s vision to also enlighten students on the significance of USPSA, as it has become a trend that most students didn’t take the USPSA election seriously.

“I think it’s better for them to come out and find out about us and know that this is a body that represents them, the offices are here, the consultation hours are written on the doors as well, and there are people to help them, they are there,” he mentioned.

“It is also important for the USPSA and Student first party to disseminate or have student consultations about the significance of USPSA and how they going to be involved and also what USPSA can offer them, altogether in solidarity we can do great things.”

The winning candidates are expected to formally enter their office 1 week after the election.

The next USPSA election will be held early next year on April.