UK & World News
Edward Snowden Up For Glasgow Uni Rector Vote
Whistleblower Edward Snowden is standing in an election to be rector of the University of Glasgow.
The former CIA operative turned fugitive has been nominated by students after agreeing to compete for the role.
Rectors represent the interests of students and the choice of who fulfils the role is entirely in the hands of students, according to the university's website.
The computer analyst is currently in Russia after he was granted asylum by the authorities there but is unable to leave.
He had previously been in Hong Kong where he fled after his leaks brought to light secret snooping by America's National Security Agency.
It led to not only embarrassment in the US but also friction with other countries.
The US revoked his passport and issued a warrant for his arrest.
It is not clear how he will be able to carry out the duties of rector unless he is given permission to travel.
A group of students said they nominated him because it provided an "opportunity to show our gratitude to a brave whistleblower, and thus to all other whistleblowers who take risks to reveal the criminality and corruption of powerful groups in the intelligence services and other arms of government, media, police, parliament and military".
His candidacy was revealed on the University of Glasgow's website.
PhD student Chris Cassells said: "We got in touch through his lawyers and have been communicating through them, and he has agreed to take part and was happy to support what we're doing."
He added: "The university has a long history of electing political rectors like Winnie Mandela or Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, so this campaign is along similar lines to that."
Voting for rector takes place over two days next month.
Former champion cyclist Graeme Obree, writer Alan Bissett and Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow, are also standing in the vote.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy currently holds the position.
A spokeswoman for the university said: "The University of Glasgow has received the following nominations for the next election of the rector: Alan Bissett, Kelvin Holdsworth, Graeme Obree and Edward Snowden."
She added that all nominees have "personally agreed" to take part in the process, with the vote being held on February 17 and 18.
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