The Progress Party and Jersey Liberal Conservatives have formed a coalition before the June election – coordinating their candidates, presenting a single manifesto, and pledging to back a single candidate for Chief Minister.
The two parties have agreed that, if elected, former Bailiff and JLC head Sir Philip Bailhache should hold the island's top political position.
The two party leaders, Sir Philip and Senator Steve Pallett, signed a formal agreement last week, committing their parties to work together.
Sir Philip said: “This is the first time in Jersey politics that two parties have combined in coalition to produce a joint manifesto behind which all the candidates for the two parties will align when standing for election in June.
“We think that people should know what they are voting for, and we believe that putting forward a strong programme for coalition government in a transparent manner is very much in the public interest.”
Senator Pallett added: “Change is desperately needed. We are working together to combine our best ideas to produce an exciting and progressive programme for government”.
So far, Sir Philip and former Citizens’ Advice Bureau head Malcolm Ferey have declared their intention to stand for the JLC.
For the Progress Party, Senator Pallett is joined by St Martin Deputy Steve Luce, former Condor island head Steve Bailey and hair salon owner Sophie Walton have announced their candidacy.
Senator Pallett said: “I am extremely excited at leading the Progress Party into the election with four quality candidates.
“It is obvious that I would have liked more but but success at this election is about building a party political system in Jersey and not about any one party forming a government.
“Jersey has, and is, loathe to change as we have seen over the years in the many attempts to change the electoral system and one thing is for sure it will take a couple of elections to bed in multi-party politics into Jersey.”
He added: “We currently have seven States Members who are members of a party in the Assembly and that number will likely increase but until the results are known, it’s difficult to say whether the wider introduction of party politics has been a success or not.
“The current government was a coalition of sorts and the next one may well need to be a coalition of more formalised groups and parties along with independents.
Addressing those sceptical of the latest move towards political parties in Jersey, Senator Pallett said: “We accept criticism as I am sure that there are many islanders who are coming to terms with changes to the forthcoming elections and maybe require further information.
“It’s for myself and my colleagues to provide that information and reassurance that party politics does offer the best representation and the opportunity to make politicians accountable throughput a political term.”
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