The procedure governing the election of Members to the Legislative Council has been reformed following the implementation of the Elections to Legislative Council Act 2017.
The Act, which seeks to streamline the running of elections to the Legislative Council, ensure greater transparency and generate wider public engagement, came into effect on Wednesday April 5, 2017 after the House of Keys voted to approve changes on Tuesday April 4, 2017 that allow the election procedure to be provided for by Standing Orders.
Key changes see the election process become by public ballot, nominations from the floor no longer permitted and a simple majority replace the 13-vote majority previously required.
In support of the Act a system of formal hustings, called by the Speaker of the House of Keys, will be introduced, to ensure that all candidates are known to Members in advance of the election and in acknowledgement that a wider range of candidates from the Manx community may choose to come forward.
Speaker of the House of Keys the Hon Juan Watterson SHK said: ‘This year we celebrate 150 years of elections to the House of Keys, and in two years 2019 sees the centenary of the first elections to Legislative Council. This week opens a new chapter as the election process is determined entirely by the Keys and removes Legislative Council’s say in their election process. In June Tynwald will debate the future of the Legislative Council, but for this election we have a system that is open to all, and transparent.’
He went on to say: “I very much encourage people to come forward to stand for Legislative Council, and contact their MHK to learn more about the job and how to stand.’
The Act comes into force against the background of a vacancy in the Legislative Council following the retirement of Mr Tony Wild.
The vacancy is for a term of office ending on February 28 2018. Accordingly, nominations for election to the Legislative Council are now invited and will close on Wednesday May 3. A formal hustings will be organised for Friday May 5 ahead of the election to be held on Thursday May 18 at 2.30pm.
In the first instance interested parties are asked to contact an MHK at their earliest convenience. All residents of the Isle of Man over the age of 21 not an employee of the Isle of Man Government are eligible.
The Speaker of the House of Keys the Hon Juan Watterson SHK is pictured signing the Commencement Order bringing the Elections to Legislative Council Act 2017 into force as the Clerk of Tynwald Roger Phillips looks on. Photo Paul Dougherty, Tynwald Seneschal