The RCN has cited issues with “campaign tactics” and the “behaviours of individual candidates”.
Two as yet unnamed candidates for the Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) presidential elections have been disqualified after allegedly breaking election rules.
The news quickly follows an announced yesterday that the RCN had suspended its Presidential campaigning after it had received a complaint.
While neither the source nor the circumstances of the complaint are clear, the union has confirmed that “campaign tactics” and the “behaviours of individual candidates” are the reason for the candidates being disqualified.
A source close to the issue told NursingNotes that the organisations’ ruling council had not been involved in the process but an investigation had been undertaken by the returning officer – an unelected employee of the RCN.
With only hours between campaigning being suspended and the candidates being disqualified – members have taken to social media to call into question how thorough an investigation has taken place in such a short period.
The current president Professor Anne Marie Rafferty is running for reelection alongside several other candidates including current vice president Yvonne Coghill.
A difficult decision.
An email sent to members today by the RCN reads; “Members were expecting to vote next month and we know this will be disappointing to many of you. It was a difficult decision and members need to understand why it was taken.
“Regretfully, in recent days, complaints were raised with us about the campaign tactics and behaviours of individual candidates. We received evidence that our election rules have been breached.
“The RCN’s Returning Officer for elections discussed the complaints with the independent organisation who oversees the production, distribution and counting of the voting papers. As a result, the decision was taken to pause the election process and two candidates have been disqualified.
“It would not be proper to name the candidates or detail the nature of the complaints.
“We will be keeping you fully updated via the RCN website and a new timeline will be published here as soon as it is confirmed.
The RCN has declined to comment further.