The President of Tynwald
The President of Tynwald is the Presiding Officer of Tynwald Court and the Legislative Council. The main role of the President is chairing sittings of Tynwald Court and the Legislative Council.
Along with the Speaker, the President signs all resolutions of Tynwald, certificates of Royal Assent for the Acts, and certificates of promulgation of the acts on Tynwald Day.
Election of the President
The President is elected by and from amongst the Members of Tynwald, usually at the last sitting of Tynwald before a General Election.
Candidates are proposed and seconded by Members. If there is more than one candidate, there is a combined vote of the Keys and the Council. The candidate with the most votes is elected.
Chairing sittings of Tynwald Court and the Legislative Council
The President of Tynwald chairs sittings of Tynwald Court and the Legislative Council. As presiding officer, the President's role is to ensure that business is conducted in an orderly and unbiased manner.
In order to do this, the President interprets the rules and conventions of Tynwald Court and the Legislative Council. Many of these rules are described in Standing Orders, the President's interpretation of which is authoritative. The President is assisted in this task by the Clerk of Tynwald and the Clerk of the Legislative Council.
The President's role is to be impartial. He has a casting vote in the event of a tie on a division, which by convention is exercised either to remain with the status quo or to allow debate to continue. If there is a tied vote in the Council when sitting in Tynwald Court, the President exercises the casting vote to make the Council decision agree with that of the Keys.
Chairing Standing Committees
The President is the ex officio Chair of a number of Standing Committees.
The President's robes
The President's formal robes were designed especially for the role by the first elected President, Sir
Charles Kerruish OBE.
They are usually only worn on ceremonial occasions, such as Tynwald Day.
The robes are light blue with extensive embroidery depicting various elements of Manx history and culture: Odin's ravens, the crosh vushta, ragwort or cushag, the Three Legs of Man, and a Viking longboat.
History of the role
The President of Tynwald is a relatively recently established role in the long history of Tynwald.
The Lieutenant Governor presided over sittings of the Legislative Council until 1980, when the role was replaced by that of the President of the Legislative Council. The Lieutenant Governor continued to preside in Tynwald Court until 1990, when the role of the President of Tynwald was created. The Lieutenant Governor now only presides over the open air sitting of Tynwald at St John's.