Mr Dario Cacopardo, the second-best candidate in the infamous two-candidate race for Social Policy Commissioner, once more took centre stage in this summer’s first KPS meeting. After the original agenda was approved, Mr Cacopardo asked for ten minutes to discuss a particular subject, at which point no one present had any objections, not knowing the veritable chaos which was to unfold.
Mr Cacopardo began by reading excerpts of his letter published on the Insite website shortly after the KPS election, and outlining his suspicions regarding SDMs actions leading up to the election. At this point KSU President, Mr Robert Napier interrupted, stating that this point is not KPS meeting material, underlining KSU’s independence from SDM, and pointing out that no SDM members were in attendance at the time, and that the subject should be broached directly with SDM members involved.
At this point several people present asked that a vote be taken to stop Mr Cacopardo from talking and that the meeting carry on according to the approved agenda, however Mr Cacopardo argued that no one had any initial objections and he was eventually granted ten minutes to state his argument.
Mr Cacopardo proceeded to distribute papers depicting screenshots taken from Facebook messenger between SDM President, Mr Gabriel Micallef and what Mr Cacopardo alleged were members of organisations. As KPS issues tend to unfold, everyone began to talk over each other, with Mr Napier reiterating that KSU is independent of SDM and that the KPS election was transparent. He also insisted that he does not want the work of the elected Social Policy Commissioner, Ms Gabriella Sutton, to be tainted by this.
Some Pulse members pointed out the severity of the allegations, saying that KSU should issue a press release regarding independence and transparency, but Mr Napier replied this will not be done because KSU were not involved in this event.
Ms Sutton meanwhile proposed a vote for the KPS meeting to continue on with the agenda stating that such matters should be discussed among the involved parties and not in the KPS meeting leading to numerous arguments breaking out.
At this point an SDM member walked into the meeting, and Mr Cacopardo expressed his wishes to address his accusations to him directly. Chaos, not surprisingly, broke out once again with everyone arguing over each other, mainly Mr Napier, Mr Cacopardo, Pulse members and the singular SDM member.
Mr Napier eventually put forward a motion to proceed with the agenda while the SDM member claimed that election was fair and that the screenshots in question had no sway on the election regardless. Another attendee also pointed out that this was a case of lobbying and the election was in no way hijacked.
Mr Cacopardo then turned to Ms Sutton on the matter with Ms Sutton saying that she was not approached by SDM to run for the election and that she had no knowledge of the lobbying.
The following photos are of the printed screenshots which Mr Cacopardo handed out during the KPS meeting itself:
An article with comments from Ms Sutton and Mr Micallef will soon also be published.
Following the debacle, Kunsill Studenti Universitarji released a post on their Facebook page reiterating that it condemns actions that might end up hindering student activism as well as the commission’s work. They pointed out that KSU has no affiliation with SDM and that the council is “responsible only in ensuring a transparent election process within the commissions.”