Coronavirus forces Guernsey general election postponement

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image captionThe States meeting to postpone the ballot was held remotely and not in its normal chamber

Guernsey's general election has been postponed until 16 June 2021, a year after it was supposed to be held.

Disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic originally led to the States Assembly and Constitution Committee (SACC) to propose an October delay.

But an amendment pushing the date back to next summer was passed by deputies.

The amended legislation was approved in the first States of Guernsey meeting held remotely.

It would also extend the current political term to 30 June 2021, in order to accommodate Guernsey's first island-wide election.

The changes to SACC's proposal was submitted by Jonathan Le Tocq, on behalf of the island's senior Policy and Resources Committee.

Arguing in favour of his amendment, Deputy Le Tocq said it was impractical to organise the first island-wide election by October, because of strains on the civil service over the summer as a result of the crisis and the time required to train volunteers.

Mr Le Tocq added any delay to an election was a "very regrettable" step that should not be taken lightly, but said a longer postponement was necessary.

He said: "But if we're going to delay it at all, delaying it a full 12 months makes it easier and less uncertain in terms of planning."

The law also cancelled a special States meeting scheduled for 21 April, as well as seven others due to take place between 1 May and 31 July.

The meeting scheduled for 22 April will go ahead, with new ones to be held on 20 May, 16 June, 17 June and 15 July.

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