Edward Snowden bids to become Glasgow University rector

An image grab taken from a video released by Wikileaks on 12 October  2013 shows US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden speaking during a dinner with US ex-intelligence workers and activists in Moscow on 9 October 2013 Edward Snowden now lives in Russia after fleeing the United States

Intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden is to stand for the post of student rector at Glasgow University.

The nomination of the former US intelligence officer, who has temporary asylum in Russia, was arranged by a group of students through his lawyer.

Elections for the three-year post will take place next month.

Other candidates for rector are cyclist Graeme Obree, author Alan Bissett and Scottish Episcopal clergyman Kelvin Holdsworth.

Previous rectors include Winnie Mandela and Mordechai Vanunu. The position is currently held by former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.

'Brave whistleblower'

Glasgow University said all the nominees had personally agreed to take part in the election.

Mr Snowden is a former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor.

Cyclist Graeme Obree, author Alan Bissett and Clergyman Kelvin Holdsworth Cyclist Graeme Obree, author Alan Bissett and Clergyman Kelvin Holdsworth are also standing for rector

He now lives in Russia after fleeing the United States via Hong Kong in May, having revealed extensive internet and phone surveillance by US intelligence.

A spokesman for the group of students who arranged Mr Snowden's nomination said: "Edward Snowden's candidacy is a unique opportunity to show our gratitude to a brave whistleblower.

"He has shown a spirit of daring and self-sacrifice that is virtually absent in our public life.

"We call on Glasgow University students as individuals, and all student bodies committed to ending state intrusion into our private lives, to declare their support for Edward Snowden's candidacy."

The rector is the elected representative of the students and serves for a period of three years.

Among the post-holder's key duties are to attend the university court, which administers resources, work with the students' representative council, and to bring student concerns to the attention of university management.

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