Additional Charge Filed in Ongoing ASUC Recall Dispute

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Yet another charge has been filed with the ASUC Judicial Council in the ongoing dispute over the recall election of Senator John Moghtader.

The latest charge, filed by students Dina Omar, Dalia Marina and Husam Zakharia, calls for a restraining order against the ASUC Senate to prevent the body from meeting or conducting official business until the recall election takes place.

The Judicial Council has already made multiple rulings in relation to the recall election, from attempts to cancel and delay it to clarifications on procedure.

The council has accepted the case and will issue a ruling by this Wednesday morning.

"It's not just the constitution, there are a lot of administrative bylaws that we'll be looking through as well, and all that will factor into our decision," said Kiira Johal, interim chair of the council.

Plaintiffs in the case allege that continuing to hold senate meetings would violate the portion of the ASUC Constitution stating that a recall election must take place within two senate meetings after the dates have been set.

On Dec. 10, senators scheduled the election for Jan. 26 and 27. Wednesday's meeting will be the third after the setting of those dates.

However, a Judicial Council ruling made Sunday evening voided the election due to mismanagement by the elections council and stated that it could be rescheduled for a date within the next four weeks.

Those who filed the charge say the stalls in conducting the election are a violation of their rights.

"Our right to have an election held in a timely manner has been ignored and trampled upon," they wrote in the charge sheet.

The three plaintiffs were present during a Nov. 13 altercation in Eshleman Hall, in which they claim Moghtader was involved. Moghtader said he was not involved, and that he had stepped in to break up an altercation between Zakharia and former ASUC Senator Gabe Weiner.

The District Attorney's Office of Alameda County has said they will not file any charges in connection with the incident.

Delaying the election would allow both sides to further publicize their arguments.

"I want to inform students about the way that petitioners are holding the student body hostage," Moghtader said. "I will do my best to educate the student body about that."

Marina, Omar and Zakharia did not return calls for comment.

Some said halting meetings for the estimated four weeks that it would take to organize an election would disadvantage student groups seeking funding from the ASUC.

"From what I hear, (holding an election) would take a significant amount of money, energy and time," said Student Action Senator Will Smelko. "I would hope that we'd still be able to help student groups instead of stalling everyone else's business."


Valerie Woolard is the assistant university news editor. Contact her at [email protected]

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