Guernsey

Coronavirus: Guernsey general election delay proposed

Guernsey States Chamber
Image caption The States Assembly and Constitution Committee said it could not guarantee a June election would be "free, fair and safe"

A proposal for a four-month delay of the 2020 Guernsey General Election will be put to the States.

It comes amid new rules on the island about leaving home and interacting with others during the coronavirus outbreak.

The election, which is due to take place on 17 June, would be held on 21 October under the new legislation.

The proposal, written by the States Assembly and Constitution Committee (SACC), described the situation as "unprecedented in modern times".

It would mean the current political term would continue until 29 October, to allow for the four-day election and counting the votes, with the nomination period for becoming a Deputy to be held between 14 and 18 September.

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The committee recognised the decision to delay Guernsey's first island-wide election and extend the current States term was "very significant" and had looked into "viable alternatives" to postponement.

"Despite exploring all avenues, it has come to the conclusion that any election in June would be most unlikely to be sufficiently free, fair and safe," SACC added.

Should the legislation be approved, the States will consider in July whether holding an October election is viable, as "much remains unknown about the long-term progress of the virus".

If further delay is recommended, the election would be further postponed until 16 June 2021.

The legislation also calls for the cancelation and and rescheduling of multiple States of Deliberation meetings.

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