USEC to release Omnibus E-Code, implements IRR for primary election

The University Student Election Commission (USEC) plans to release the amended Election Code (E-Code) or the Omnibus Student Election Code, before the start of the second semester of the academic year (AY) 2019-2020 by December or January in compliance with the new University Student Government (USG) Constitution, according to USEC Deputy Chairperson John Cedrick Lacro.

Constitutional Commissions provision, Article IX, Section 6, of the USG Constitution states that “The Omnibus Student Election Code shall be solely authored by the Commission (USEC) and shall be enacted by Congress without amendment.”

USEC started with its revisions on August 12 this year, “First week pa lang, naguusapusap na kami what will be the mechanics since this will be the first time [having a revamped E-Code following the new USG Constitution],” Lacro said.   

Last AY, the student body ratified the USG Constitution through a plebiscite which requires the USEC to revise the E-Code as there are changes in the electoral process, as well as fundamental changes in the role and functions of student leaders in the highest student-governing body. Among the changes in the USG Constitution is the moniker change of the electoral body to USEC, which was formerly referred to as the Student Commission on Election. 

Provisional IRR for primary election

While the new E-Code is subject for release before the start of the second semester, and USG Constitution Transitory Provisions states that the first primary election will be held on December 2 this year, USEC released implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the upcoming election, Lacro stated.

As of press time, the IRR for the 2019 primary election has been officially signed into law by the USG president on October 30, being the first Act of the Congress.  

With the provisional IRR, the election commission will follow through the electoral process as mandated in the Constitution, while USEC will be asking for nominations for presidency from the college deans. “We will be requesting the dean to note, to recommend only one student from their respective colleges,” Lacro explained. 

The USEC released Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) for aspiring candidates on November 8, while the enacted bill states that aspiring candidates may file their candidacy only within two days upon distribution of COCs.

Moreover, Lacro furthered that among the provisions included in the proposed E-Code is the implementation of a pre-primary election for cases of multiple COC filings in a certain college. Pre-primary elections will undergo on the affected colleges to give the aspiring candidates equal chances. 

In preparation for the primary election on December 2, Lacro shared that USEC is planning a debate on November 27, that will serve as a venue for the candidates to share their plans and platforms for the University, as well as for the student body to know who to vote for. 

Article IV, Section 2 of the IRR for the 2019 primary elections states that the debate also serves as a platform for the candidates to “articulate their stand and positions over issues that affects the students, the University and the nation.” 

USEC to handle elective positions

Lacro clarified that the USEC will only be handling elective positions such as USG president and vice president, members of the Congress, the College Student Government (CSG) governors and vice governors, and the college legislative council, the USEC deputy chairperson stated. 

Meanwhile, Judiciary Department positions are not part of the elective positions where the Judiciary Advisory Council, together with the USG President, shall be in charge of appointing its members.

Article IV, Section 3 of the USG Constitution, stipulates that “the Judiciary Advisory Council along with the [USG] President will be in charge of choosing the members of the High Court.”

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