Ahmad Nawaz forced to resign from Oxford Union president post


On November 17, Ahmad Nawaz resigned as President of the Oxford Union, the famed university’s debating club. Ahmad Nawaz (21) became the second Pakistani to be President of the Oxford debating society when he took up the role in June 2022. On Thursday, however, his 5-month stint as president came to an end as fellow students voted to remove him from the position.

On Thursday evening, Union members voted on a Special Adjournment Motion to reject the Union’s Access Committee’s prior decision to force Nawaz to quit. There were 421 ballots cast, with 164 voting to reject Nawaz’s resignation, 251 voting to uphold Nawaz’s resignation and 6 spoilt ballots.

Though this ‘forced’ resignation comes after a period of dissatisfaction with Nawaz’s behaviour toward other committee members, the President was dismissed on a technicality. Union members voted against excusing Nawaz’s inability to attend four out of six Access Committee meetings. Nawaz attempted to excuse his absences owing to ‘sickness,’ but the committee decided against it.

The Union Access Committee meets every Thursday and the President is obliged to attend. Failure to turn up on three occasions triggers an automatic resignation unless a valid reason for absence can be given. When Nawaz failed to show up for several such meetings, he claimed that he was unable to attend due to sickness, but members of the committee rejected his excuse.

However, the day Nawaz claimed he missed the meeting due to illness, he uploaded photos of himself with a guest speaker, Bhad Bhabie.

Nawaz requested that the committee consider the legitimacy of his excuse due to this purported sickness. However, multiple members objected, resulting in a secret ballot within the committee. Nawaz needed a simple majority to be successful, however, he was defeated with 9 votes against him, 7 votes in his favour, and 1 abstention.

Later, he urged members to vote against an access committee that he portrayed as highly partisan, stating “this house should pass the motion because this house is better than the access committee.”

Oxford Union students term Ahmad Nawaz ‘arrogant’

However, much to his disappointment, 251 out of the 421 Union members voted against him on Thursday, forcing him to resign from the position.

Notably, besides the prolonged dissatisfaction with his presidency from some members of the Union, he has also been branded ‘authoritarian and impulsive’ by other members of the Union.

A few students told the student newspaper Cherwell that Nawaz was arrogant and had not done enough work.

“There have been countless times when he has failed to turn up to some of the more manual jobs such as moving benches or term cards,” Matthew Dick, a senior member of the Union, was quoted by media as saying.

Another senior member, Disha Hegde, accused Nawaz of failing to do his duties. “He has, however, shown up to every free debate dinner and drinks reception – which are all financed from the members’ money,” said the student.

One student, speaking in the chamber, said they no longer felt ‘safe’ working on his committee. “Following this speech, I do not feel safe enough to continue working on this committee if the president does not resign.” 

Aside from students, some parents have also expressed happiness that Nawab has been removed from the presidency. A social media user going by the handle @ashajadeja, who claimed that her daughter is a student at the institution, expressed satisfaction, adding that students had told her two months ago how Nawab had assaulted numerous women in the varsity. She also alleged that the prestigious Oxford university had conveniently brushed the issue under the carpet. “Justice has been served,” said the social media user sharing a media report about the removal of Nawab from the post.

Ahmad claims he is a victim of racism

Nawaz, on the other hand, has claimed that he has been a victim of racism. He said in a recent Facebook post that the events of the past few weeks had put him in a ‘state that I’ve not felt for a while and that he has struggled with racism in society.

‘I have been made to…



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