Uncontested election fills half of vacant Chief Pleas seats
TWO new members of Sark’s Chief Pleas have been sworn in after yet another uncontested election.
Nichola McHugh and Natalie Craik were the only candidates for four seats in a by-election called for Wednesday 19 August.
They have taken on the vacancies left by former conseillers Ellie and Rodney Lalor, who resigned in April and whose terms of office were due to expire in January 2023.
The other two seats had been vacant for some time and a by-election called for February last year was abandoned when there were no candidates.
Chief Pleas voted in early July not to hold a vote and to wait until the general election, but the Policy & Finance Committee had to go back to the Assembly to say that it had been given legal advice that the decision did not comply with the reform law and could also be in breach of the human rights law.
Speaker of Chief Pleas Reg Guille, who was also the by-election’s returning officer, said it was disappointing that only two candidates stood, but he was pleased that the Assembly now had nine candidates who will serve until 2023.
‘At least we have a full half of parliament ready to go for the next two years,’ he said.
The terms of office attached to the other two vacant seats were due to expire in January next year and Mr Guille hoped they will be filled at this year’s election in December, along with the other seven seats that will be available.
There was no push to promote the by-election, but he said this would be different when it came to the general election.
‘Chief Pleas and the administration can now start looking at publicising it and encouraging people to stand,’ he said.
Miss McHugh was proposed by Michelle Perree and seconded by David Hester, while Miss Craik was proposed by David Nigbur and seconded by Peter Tonks.