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Proposed Postponement of the 2020 General Election

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States Assembly & Constitution Committee - P.2020/60

The States are asked to decide:-

Whether, after consideration of the policy letter entitled "Proposed postponement of the June 2020 General Election" dated 24th March, 2020, they are of the opinion:-

1. To agree that, in view of the circumstances currently prevailing in the Island, the General Election for the office of People's Deputy scheduled to be held on 17th June, 2020 should be postponed.

2. To agree that the term of office of current People's Deputies should be extended until 29th October, 2020.

3. To agree that the General Election for the office of People's Deputy should be rescheduled to 21st October 2020, and note that:
    • The nomination period will start on 14th September and conclude on 18th September, 2020. 
    • The current political term will end on 29th October 2020 and new Members will be sworn in on 30th October 2020.

4. To agree that:
     (a) States Meetings should be convened on:
            (i)  27th May, 2020;
            (ii)  24th June, 2020;
            (iii) 22nd July, 2020;
            (iv) 19th August, 2020; and
             (v) 9th September, 2020; and

     (b)  the States Meetings currently due to take place on 5th May, 1st July, 3rd July, 7th July, 13th July, 21st July and 2nd September, 2020 shall be cancelled. 

5. Only if Proposition 4 carries:
     (a) to agree that the Special Meeting of the States ('End of Term' Meeting) due to take place on 21st April, 2020, shall be rescheduled;

     (b) to agree that the States Meeting due to take place on 22nd April, 2020, shall continue to be held; however, all items of business currently scheduled for that Meeting shall be deferred until the States Meeting to be convened on 27th May, 2020, with the exception of:

            (i) Items to be taken under subparagraphs (a) to (d) of Rule 9(1) of the Rules of Procedure;
            (ii) Legislation laid before the States;
            (iii) P.2020/50 - The Capacity (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2020;
            (iv) P.2020/39 - The Scrutiny of States and Public Bodies (Guernsey) Ordinance, 2020;
            (v) P.2020/34 - The Reform (Guernsey) (Amendment) (No.2) Law, 2019 (Commencement) Ordinance, 2020; and
            (vi) Any items of urgent business submitted in accordance with Rule 2(4) or Rule 18 of the Rules of Procedure of the States of Deliberation;

(c) to agree that the final date for submission of items of business to be considered by the States at Meetings, up to and including the Meeting to be held on 9th September, 2020, shall continue to be 2nd April, 2020;

(d) to note that, after Thursday 2nd April, 2020, there shall be no further opportunities for the submission of ordinary business to the States, but that urgent business may continue to be submitted at any time in accordance with Rule 2(4) or Rule 18, in order to enable the prompt consideration by the States of emergency provisions and other time-critical matters; and

(e) to agree that the Policy & Resources Committee, in consultation with other States Committees, should plan for the remaining ordinary business of the States to be distributed more or less evenly across the Meeting dates set out in Proposition 4(a).

6. To agree that if any casual vacancies in the office of Deputy occur before the revised date of the General Election, no by-election will be held to fill the seat(s) in question.

7. To agree that, if circumstances in the Island are such that holding a General Election on 21st October, 2020, is not viable, the Election will be held on 16th June, 2021.

8. To direct the States' Assembly & Constitution Committee to submit a policy letter to the States, to be considered no later than the meeting commencing on 22nd July, 2020, to:
     (a)   recommend proceeding with the General Election on 21st October, 2020 date, or to further postpone the Election until 16th June, 2021; and
     (b)   if a further delay is approved, include dates for States Meetings to be convened between October 2020 and May 2021; and
     (c)  include submission dates for ordinary business to be considered at those States Meetings.

9. To agree that the following Ordinances be withdrawn:
     • P.2020/35 - The Elections Ordinance, 2020
     • P.2020/36 - The Postal Voting (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020
     • P.2020/37 - The Advance and Super Polling Station Ordinance, 2020
     • P.2020/38 - The Elections (Nominations and Ballot Papers for People's Deputies) Ordinance, 2020

10. To note that the Electoral Roll will remain open and an Ordinance will be presented to the States of Deliberation recommending a date upon which the new Electoral Roll shall be closed for the purpose of a postponed Election.

11. To direct the Civil Contingencies Authority to consider the exercise of its powers to make emergency regulations under the Civil Contingencies (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2012 insofar as may be necessary and possible for the purpose of enabling the above decisions to be given effect.

12. To direct the preparation of such legislation as may be necessary to give effect to the above decisions.

The above Propositions have been submitted to Her Majesty's Procureur for advice on any legal or constitutional implications in accordance with Rule 4(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the States of Deliberation and their Committees.




Proposed Postponement of the June 2020 General Election

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