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Blackmail allegations denied

By Archives April 7, 2009

A CSU executive claimed he was the victim of attempted blackmail, but the student they’ve accused has denied it.
The accusations followed a conversation between VP communications Elie Chivi and Andrew Haig, a Concordia undergrad and former editor-in-chief of The Concordian.
Chivi alleged he was blackmailed when Haig asked him to drop the contestations filed during and after the recent CSU election period. In return, Chivi said he was told, “in June you won’t be held liable for any decisions you’ve made throughout your mandate.”
Over 20 contestations were submitted to the chief electoral officer (CEO), with the vast majority having been put forward by the Change slate.
Change came second to Vision in last week’s CSU election. Critics have said Change, despite its name, is aligned with a six-year dynasty of CSU executives, which includes the executive currently in office.
Last Monday evening, both Chivi and VP external Colin Goldfinch received a call from Haig. In the message left on Goldfinch’s phone, Haig asked to meet for coffee because he had been “asked to put something to [the executive]. It will probably be worth your while.” A similar message was let of Chivi’s phone.
“He told me it would be a good idea if my executive dropped all the contestations around the election,” Chivi said. Though the executives filed one contestation against Change and five against Vision, Chivi said Haig asked him to influence Change to drop their contestations.
“We know they have influence over Change, ” Haig said, while maintaining there was no malicious intent or blackmail during the conversation. “How could I blackmail them? I have no power, I don’t know the right people, I’m not in the executive,” he said. “The suggestion that I have that power is flattering. I’d love if it was true, but it’s not happening.”
Haig said his intention with Chivi and Goldfinch was to qualm a fear that the election, that’s been hailed as the most fair Concordia has had in five years, would be tainted by months of “legal hell.”
Haig said he believes his intentions were misrepresented in order to strengthen Change’s move to annul the entire election. “They’re attacking any one they can,” he said, referring to the numerous contestations filed against other slates, independent candidates and “even their own CEO.”
“You know what they’re doing,” Haig said, summing up his defence. “They’re using this as a perfect opportunity to suggest the entire election was illegitimate.”