Elections Office makes kits for candidates
(CNS): With just seven months to go before the governor prorogues the current parliament, the Elections Office is gearing up for the May 2013 general election. As part of its efforts to improve its services it has created a 'candidate kit', designed for anyone who plans to run in next year’s national ballot. To ensure that every candidate is fully aware of the laws and rules, the office has collated the constitution, elections law, important forms and paperwork, maps and details of polling and counting stations, the timetable of the process, information on election officials and a video all about running for office in one package.
The supervisor of elections told the press Thursday that the kit, which is an A-Z of the election, is part of a wider initiative to offer training for all candidates and to ensure that there are no excuses from any one running for office for not following the laws and rules governing elections.
At the last general election two UDP candidates, Mark Scotland and Dwayne Seymour, failed to meet the constitutional requirement to publish in a gazette all their interests in government contracts before a specific election deadline. Both men were allowed to go ahead and fight the election, however, as no lawful challenge was made to their right to run. When both men were elected to office, there was considerable controversy in the community when the attorney general failed to take any action against the men and what they had both said was an oversight and not a deliberate intention to deceive the electorate.
However, a group of voters from their constituency eventually mounted a challenge in the Grand Court via an originating summons. But the challenge failed after the deadline to file the action under the elections law was missed, which the chief justice ruled was the only way in law to make the challenge to the candidates' election to office.
Gomez said that the combination of the new kits, including the video, taking potential candidates through every step as well as all the rules and requirements regarding running for office, as well as the planned training sessions both ahead and after Nomination Day should fully prepare the fleet of would-be politicians for 2013.
The kits can now be collected from the office in Smith Road, priced at $125, which Gomez said covered the cost of producing the comprehensive kits.
Colford Scott, the deputy supervisor of elections, said that the governor has now approved the timeline for the countdown to the election, which begins on 12 December with the issuing by the governor of the election writ on 12 December.
Other key dates include 2 January, when the register for new voters wanting to take part in the election will close; the dissolution of parliament will be on 26 March followed by Nomination Day for candidates on 27 March. The general election day itself will be on Wednesday 22 May.
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