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Likely battle for top job of introducing island wide voting

Likely battle for top job of introducing island wide voting

Thursday 25 October 2018

Likely battle for top job of introducing island wide voting

At least two deputies are likely to challenge for the role of leading the introduction of island wide voting, with less than 20 months to go before the new system has to be in place.

Deputy Carl Meerveld who led the winning Option A campaign in the recent referendum said he is considering throwing his hat in, while the only remaining member of the States Assembly and Constitution Committee, Deputy Neil Inder, said he had already started planning his next move.

Deputy Inder was left as the only politician sitting on the committee after the President, Vice President and two other members all tendered their resignations to the Bailiff yesterday.


Pictured: Four of the five members of SACC resigned yesterday. 

Deputy Peter Roffey said while he wholeheartedly respects the recent referendum result - he doesn't and can't personally support island wide voting.

As President of the States Assembly and Constitution Committee, he tendered his resignation to the Bailiff first. Sir Richard Collas then let him make a personal statement during yesterday's States meeting, which can be read in full here. 

Deputy Roffey used that opportunity to insist that while he supports the result of the referendum, he doesn't personally think island wide voting is right for the island. He said he is not the right person to take it forward, to ensure the new system is in place by the next scheduled election in 2020, and that other deputies who do personally support an island wide voting system should take on the responsibility of delivering it.

Deputy Mark Dorey followed, issuing a statement which said he respects the referendum result but he also doesn't believe in island wide voting on a personal basis.

"I agree with the Electoral Reform Society’s view that all possible models for island wide voting present significant practical difficulties. I have therefore reluctantly decided it would be better for me to resign and be replaced by a Deputy who is a supporter of island-wide voting and who would be fully committed to finding a solution for the practical difficulties,” he said. 

Vice President of SACC, Deputy Lindsay de Saumarez and SACC member, Deputy Michelle Le Clerc, also tendered their resignations.

Deputy Inder told Express he knew this was happening, but as a publicly announced supporter of Option A and island wide voting itself, he was not resigning and would hope to be elected President of SACC now.

Neil Inder

Pictured: Deputy Neil Inder.

Deputy Inder said he is the right person for the job, because his background as a project manager means he can lead the introduction of island wide voting, in a relatively short time frame. 

He will need to be nominated and seconded for the role, and will need four other members to work on SACC with him. He said work to build a team around him has already started. 

Deputy Inder said the introduction of island wide voting is the priority for SACC now and with less than 20 months until the next States election, it should be the focus of the committee's entire work load to ensure it is brought in in time. 

Carl Meerveld

Pictured: Deputy Carl Meerveld. 

As the front man of the campaign group for Option A, and the islanders Association which has backed island wide voting, Deputy Carl Meerveld was seen by some as an obvious choice for the presidency of SACC.

He told Express he is thinking about standing and will consider the options available.

Deputy Meerveld agreed that working on introducing island wide voting needs to be the priority for the States Assembly and Constitution Committee and that it needs to be driven through by people who believe in it and want it to work.

Pictured: Deputies Neil Inder and Carl Meerveld. 

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