The chairman of Guernsey's only registered political party has refuted suggestions by two senior States members that the idea has "fizzled out" ahead of the next election.
The comments about there being no political parties in the upcoming elections were made at an Institute of Directors’ breakfast seminar last week by Policy & Resources Vice President Lyndon Trott and Economic Development President Charles Parkinson.
The main campaign group for island-wide voting, which was fronted by Islander Association Founder Deputy Carl Meerveld and the 2020 Association Founder Deputy Peter Ferbrache, promoted the benefits of political groupings and the idea of coalescing around shared objectives.
However, questions have since been asked about whether party politics will actually play a significant role in this year's historic election.
As far as I'm aware only the Alliance Party has registered. For the purposes of the GE, there's only one at the moment— tothevale (@tothevale) July 9, 2020
Pictured: Deputy Neil Inder, who is President of the Committee responsible for delivering the election.
It is still early days, and only two weeks have passed since the States committed to holding the postponed election on 7 October.
Alliance Party Chairman Barry Weir has hit back at Deputy Trott and Parkinson's comments - saying they were "either naive or insulting".
"I couldn’t believe it when I read the comments that had been made that political parties on the island had fizzled out and that it wasn’t expected that there would be any parties standing at the next election," he said.
"I felt the comments were either naive or an insult to democracy."
Pictured: Political groups such as the Islanders Association, co-founded by Deputy Carl Meerveld, will have to formally register as a party in order to participate in the 2020 election.
According to Mr Weir, some States members are simply opposed to the advent of party politics in Guernsey.
"Some Deputies don’t seem to like the idea of political parties. We have said time and time again a political party means more transparency and Deputies being able to be held to properly to account by the electorate for the polices that they are elected on," he said.
"It will put an end to secret cliques and hidden associations. We truly believe that this will help create a fairer political system for the Island but there’s been resistance from the start. You wonder what they fear."
Pictured top: Barry Weir.