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Bid to elect Buttons the cat rector of Aberdeen University

The pet was nominated as a protest against partisan campaigning by human candidates.

Buttons: Campus cat misses out on top university job.
Buttons: Campus cat misses out on top university job.

A cat has been put forward as a candidate for rector of one of Scotland's oldest universities.

Sixty-two students reportedly nominated Buttons for the role at the University of Aberdeen.

However, the university's elections committee has excluded the campus cat from the ballot.

Alex Kither, who started a petition urging the university to reconsider, said the attempt to elect Buttons was motivated by concerns about partisan campaigning.

The third-year history student said: "In the last year, a lot of people felt there were issues with the candidates.

"People felt they didn't represent the student body as a whole and instead represented small but vocal minorities.

"I don't think it's necessarily a fault of the candidates but they realise that because they have support from certain voters - and most students are quite apathetic - they focus on them."

The 21-year-old said Buttons was chosen because he believed the feline was the only personality on campus everybody could support.

"We felt that getting a cat would be easier, Buttons has no opinion - because it's a cat - he's apolitical and he lives on campus," Mr Kither explained.

"Most people know Buttons because he lives on campus and hangs around the coffee shop."

Mr Kither said he believed the rector should be a "bridge" between students and the university.

He added: "But if they're not representing all students that's where the problem comes from."

'Buttons could be the next famous cat in a position of power and deserves the right to be considered.'
Pro-Buttons campaigner

Nearly 300 people signed the petition backing Buttons' candidacy, with one supporter suggesting Buttons could be allowed to run in an honorary capacity.

"Think of Mayor Stubbs of Talkeetna, Alaska who was mayor for 20 years," they said.

"Or Larry, the cat who resides at 10 Downing Street and has a position in the cabinet office.

"Buttons could be the next famous cat in a position of power and deserves the right to be considered."

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