New president to be elected during by-elections

David Gakwerere, the president of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) handed in his resignation to the Board of Adminstration (BOA) on July 12, and  vice-president of communications, Roméo Ahimakin, will take over in the interim.

In his resignation, Gakwerere said he was leaving for personal reasons. “We respect that and we respect the decision,” said Ahimakin, who will also retain his duties as vice-president of communications.

The BOA will determine their course of action at their next meeting on Aug. 24. One possibility is that they will appoint a selection committee to find a new president, whose term will last until the by-election. The alternative is the Ahimakin will continue to serve as president until the by-election.

A new president will be elected during the October by-elections, according to Ahimakin. This by-election will also look to fill other vacant BOA positions, including the education and special student seats.

Gakwerere was elected on Feb. 13 during a surprising election that saw the student body vote in fresh faces, and reject a referendum on a racialized student centre. He ran on the Here for Us slate, alongside vice-president equity candidate Nicole Maylor, who was also elected.

Ahimakin originally ran for the vice-president social position on the Impact slate, losing to Hadi Wess by 39 votes. Taylor Davidson filled the vice-president finance position, and Vanessa Dorimain was named vice-president of university affairs.

The BOA’s selection committee was charged with the task with finding a vice-president of communications, and recommended Ahimakin to the BOA on April 8, while other candidates criticized the process.

Ahimakin, who is the first international student to sit on the SFUO executive, will also be the first to become its president.