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Who can stand for election?

 

Introduction

 

At the 24 January 2024 States meeting, the States Assembly and Constitution Committee put forward a policy paper entitled ‘General Election 2025’ which proposed some technical changes to legislation in preparation for the next election (June 2025).

 

Eligibility to stand

 

Current criteria for election, as per the Candidates Guide from 2020

 

SACC proposed that the States should take on board a recommendation from the expert team that observed the 2020 election and make one of the rules, regarding who can stand for election, less restrictive.

Currently you cannot stand for election in Guernsey if you have been sentenced to more than six months in prison in the previous five years. The election observers said it was arguable that excluding all those sentenced to imprisonment, without regard to the nature of the offence, was unreasonable. They referred to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which provides that ‘citizens shall have the right and opportunity to take part in the conduct of public affairs’.

In response, SACC proposed easing the rule in part, but not fully, so someone would be ineligible if they had been convicted of electoral offences, fraud or corruption in the five years immediately preceding the date of the election – but not other crimes.

 

Amendments

 

Deputy Prow felt restricting the crimes to electoral offences, fraud or corruption was a step too far and put forward an amendment which would maintain the current rule on prison sentences. His amendment passed by 24-6, with Deputies St Pier, Fairclough and McKenna (who are members of SACC) voting FOR the amendment and therefore against their own committee’s proposal.

In the course of debate, it was clear that deputies felt that there should be more restrictions on who could stand and that the rule on convictions should, if anything, be tightened, not loosened.

Deputy Tina Bury raised the issue of the lack of DBS checks for candidates for deputy, referring to the risk from sexual offenders etc. This hit a nerve with her colleagues and her speech was referred to frequently throughout the debate. She also expressed concern that candidates have access to the electoral roll which includes dates of birth of 15 year olds.

After lunch, Deputy Bury placed a new amendment to direct SACC to investigate whether candidates should have standard or enhanced DBS checks. This passed 32-1.

Deputy Roffey laid an additional new amendment proposing that SACC investigate whether a candidate should have to declare any conviction before standing so that the public would be aware of who they were voting for. This passed 27-6.

 

 

Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.

miriam-makeba-SA

Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Are you from South Africa? Please email hello@womeninpubliclife.gg if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

jacinda-adern-2

Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

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