Tallinn Tech to have rector election ballots studied by forensic experts

Eesti kohtuekspertiisi instituut.

PHOTO: Mihkel Maripuu / Postimees

The Tallinn University of Technology (TTU) is going to send the ballots cast at the election of its next rector at the May 22 meeting of the board of governors to be analyzed at the Estonian Forensic Science Institute but first it needs to obtain the consent of all members of the board of governors and the vote counting committee.

All governors have not yet given their consent for an expert study of the ballots, a representative of the university told BNS.

The chairman of the board of governors, Sandor Liive, said four members of the body have come out with so serious suspicions about their colleagues and TTU staff that the only possible way out is to conclusively establish the truth. «For this, we're going to send the ballots to the Estonian Forensic Science Institute that will conduct analyses of DNA, fingerprints and handwriting,» he said. «This will unambiguously establish whether the four governors' suspicions are true or whether one of them is mistaken.»

Liive said that Rainer Kattel, Heiti Haal, Margus Lopp and Mart Saarna's wish to hold a new vote has no legal basis. «The decision of the board of governors according to which Jaak Aaviksoo was elected rector with eight votes for is legal and valid,» he stressed. «The law on the Tallinn University of Technology does not provide for the possibility that some decision of the board of governors is deemed to be a 'trial vote' by a governor's wish and made anew.»

The Tallinn Tech rector election committee on Wednesday received an application to check the voting results from four governors. The committee checked over the ballots and heard the explanations of the vote counting committee. It received confirmation that in the decisive fifth round of voting on May 22 eight out of 11 members of the board of governors cast their votes for and three, against Jaak Aaaviksoo. The votes were counted publicly in front of all members of the board and no one filed a protest. The ballot itself was secret.

The council of TTU made up of the university's professors and teachers, workers and students can still veto the election of Aaviksoo as rector at its meeting on June 16. If it doesn't come up with a veto the board of governors will appoint the new rector to office by June 22.