The External Relations Minister has hit out at plans to push back elections by a month next year, saying that allowing politicians to stay longer than necessary outside of a crisis sets "a dangerous precedent".
Arguing against the change, Senator Ian Gorst highlighted “limitations and oversights” in moving the election from May to June.
The Privileges and Procedures Committee is the panel of politicians behind the idea.
In a report explaining their proposal, they cite the impact of Easter, the May Bank Holiday and Liberation Day during the 2018 elections as reasons for making a change next year.
Pictured: The Privileges and Procedures Committee is proposing moving the election back by one month next year.
They also stated it would allow for an uninterrupted five-week run from nominations to Election Day.
However, Senator Gorst has disagreed with the move, saying: “I do not believe that any Parliament should extend its own period of office beyond that which the public believed it was voting for at the election which put that Parliament into office, except for in periods of crisis.”
He added it would be “a dangerous precedent, and in my opinion not good for democracy, for a Parliament to decide, one year before an election, to extend its own term of office for one month for what appear to be minor administrative reasons.”
Pictured: External Relations Minister Senator Ian Gorst is arguing that it would set a "dangerous precedent" for an Assembly to change election dates agreed on by voters.
Instead, he suggested highlighting the issue now and applying it to the 2026 election instead, setting a date for that election as soon as possible to ensure the public have a clear idea of what timeframe they are voting for next year.
He also said that as the proposal currently stands, Deputies would cease to hold office on the day of the 2022 election, instead of the current arrangement, whereby they hold their position until the new Deputy is sworn in.
He noted how this would also apply to the Council of Ministers, meaning that “all executive power would be invested in the Chief Minister” from the day of the election, until they had appointed a new Council.
In his amendment, he returns these arrangements to the way they currently are, with Ministers and Deputies holding office until their successor is sworn in.
The proposition and its amendments will be debated on 20 April.
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