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By Freddie Gough

On Monday 29th January, a referendum on Zain Choudhry’s presidency was called by the Students’ Union. The ballot will read “Do you have confidence in The Students’ Union President Zain Choudhry?” and can be voted on from 5th to the 8th February.

The referendum was triggered after a petition of over 150 signatures was submitted to the Students’ Union requesting a vote of no confidence in the SU President. This vote comes in the aftermath of Zain’s interference with a DPC election in November and subsequent one-month suspension from his role at the Union.

Back in November, a screenshot from a Whatsapp group was leaked showing Mr Choudhry instructing others to “vote for Alex to be a member of the DPC instead of this William Bates as he is a very Zionist type person”. It is against Students’ Union election rules for an incumbent officer to interfere in an election and as such voting for the DPC was postponed.

Although Choudhry was suspended for his electoral interference, many students also questioned his reasoning for rallying against William Bates. In the leaked message, Mr Choudhry expresses concern over putting up “Israeli flags…outside the SU” and the fact that Bates “wants to end the BDS campaign”, which seeks to cut economic ties with Israel. Some have suggested that his comments were anti-Semitic in their nature and that the Students’ Union has not addressed this aspect of his remarks.

Mr Choudhry has not yet returned from his suspension, but if 1000 total votes are cast in the referendum and the majority swing against him it will result in his immediate removal as Students’ Union President. The results will be announced on Friday 9th February at midday.

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One thought on “Students’ Union to hold vote of “no confidence” in President Zain Choudhry

  1. I attended the no confidence debate 5/01/18 at the Student Union hall.
    I came with 2 other non student Bristol Citizens in response to information that Zian Chowdery a leading advocate for protection against vile racist attacks against BME Citizens of Bristol was he himself was accused racist/antisemitic remarks, as part of Bristol alliance
    against racism/fascism which focused on the massive increase of violent crimes against Muslims including the murder of a young Muslim who was beaten to death then set alight, many other serious attacks have taken place, at the hands of those dispicable thugs at the other end of the scale pig products were thrown into a Bristol Mosque. The meeting took on a sinister air, when Chowdery was accused of paying attention only to racist attacks on Muslims, but no interest on Jews or other religion’s, implying that Chowdery is antisemitic, a further contributor stated that Chowdery was connected to labour party which was rife with atisemitism, to enhance his point he used the fucking word twice, when questioned he replied, there are no restrictions on swearing. What was the Chair of the meeting thinking, why no intervention, it felt to us that this was more like a kangaroo court, than a place of constructive debate, allowing flagrant implied/alleged of antisemitism without a shred of evidence to go unchallenged should alone nullify the no confidence motion.
    But wait !! worse followed, I heard in the closing words of the proposer of the no confidence motion say there must be “retribution” for Chowdery’ past actions, again no challenge from the chair, you see to a reasonable person that single word “retribution” personifies what is really going on behind the scenes, and that reasonable person would conclude this is a witch hunt at the very least and for what might prove for the most devious of reasons.
    I confronted the speaker on his use of the word “retribution” and was that suitible suitable language in respect of the no confidence motion.
    He replied it was just a word that came into his head!
    I have left my email/ contact details. and would like to be updated on this matter, my 2 colleagues are of the same opinion and would be happy to add to my own complaint. my advice would be to nip this no-con in the bud, as I’m sure when the dust settles and the truth is out, this will not reflect well on the studentrain body.
    Ed Clarke

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