Ascension Island Council


The Ascension Island Council is an elected body that provides advice to the Administrator of Ascension Island on matters relating to the governance of Ascension Island. The Council is made up of either five or seven Councillors, depending on the number of candidates standing for an election, and its meetings are chaired by the Administrator. The Island's constitution requires the Governor and Administrator to consult with the Council when making laws for Ascension Island. The Governor and Administrator are not bound to accept the advice of the Council but the Council has the right to protest decisions to the British Government.[1]

Ascension Island Council
Type
Type
Leadership
Administrator of Ascension Island
Justine Allan
Seats5 (or 7) Councillors
Meeting place
Government House, Georgetown
Website
Ascension Island Council
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Ascension Island

Electoral system


The five (or seven) seats in the Ascension Island Council are elected for three years terms by first-past-the-post Plurality-at-large voting, with voters allowed to cast up to five (or seven) votes respectively. If there is eight or more candidates, the election will be of seven members; if there are six or seven nominations, the election will return a Council of five members. If there are fewer than six nominations, the election will be postponed for a period of up to six months, during which time there will be no Island Council.[2]

Council members


The current council consists of five elected members known as Councillors, who were elected in September 2019.[3]

Members of the Ascension Island Council:

Katharyn Sarah Chadwick
Andrew Robert Ellick
Keturah (Kitty) Viola George
Andrew Cansfield Hobson
Alan Herbert Nicholls

Qualifications of Councillors

Candidates must be 21 years of age, have British Citizenship, British Overseas Territory Citizenship or British Overseas Citizenship, must reside on the island and should have been resident on the island for the 12 months preceding nomination. In practice candidates will typically have been on the island for several years. They must also be on the electoral register for the island.[4]

History and elections


First Council

The first Ascension Island Council of seven members was elected and took office on 01 November 2002.

Second Council

This first Council was dissolved by order of the Governor of Saint Helena on 24 October 2005, and a new election was held on 16 November 2005, a total of 697 electors choosing between 10 candidates contesting the seven seats.[5] Six of the seven members resigned in January 2007 in the belief that they were "assisting to legitimise a democracy that doesn’t really exist on Ascension Island".[6] Consequently, a general election was called, but by the close of nominations there were only two candidates. As a result of the boycott, the election was abandoned, and the governor suspended the Island Council for 12 months.

Third Council

Elections to the third Council were to have taken place in April 2008 but following consultations they were delayed until October 2008. With eight nominations the elections were duly held and seven candidates were elected to form a new Island Council, which was sworn in on 28 October.[7]

Fourth Council

The third Council was dissolved by the Governor in October 2010 with elections planned for 03 November 2010. By close of nominations on 19 October 2010, six nominations had been received (sufficient for elections to be held for a Council of five elected members), but two of the nominations were submitted late and therefore declared invalid.[8] The Governor was therefore obliged to suspend the Island Government Ordinance and re-schedule the elections.[8] On 03 February 2011, it was announced that an election would be held on 25 February.[9][10] On 28 February 2011, the five new council members were sworn in by the Administrator.[11]

Fifth Council

General elections were held on 31 October 2013.[12][13]

Sixth Council

The general election was held on 01 September 2016 with six candidates running for the five seats of the Island Council.

Candidate Votes Notes
Marie-Anne Mabel Dennis93Elected
Jacqueline Rose Ellick80Re-elected[lower-alpha 1]
Keturah Viola George76Re-elected
Nicholas Ivan John68Re-elected
Samantha Jean Arms-Lawrence55Re-elected
Katie Jean Downes36
Total121
Registered voters/turnout23%
Source: Government of Ascension Island
  1. Ellick was first elected in a by-election on 18 November 2014 and was officially sworn in on 15 January 2015[14]

Seventh Council

On 26 September 2019 a general election of the Island Council was held. This followed the dissolution of the previous Council on 01 September 2019, in accordance with the Island Government (Ascension) Ordinance 2008.

Seven candidates ran for five available Councillor positions, with electors being permitted to cast up to five votes each. Of 518 registered electors 150 electors cast 498 votes, casting their ballots as follows:

Candidate Total number of

votes cast

Percentage

(rounded to nearest

whole figure)

Notes
Katharyn Sarah Chadwick 73 15% Elected
Andrew Robert Ellick 68 14% Elected
Keturah Viola George (Kitty) 105 21% Re-elected
Kristopher Edward Hall 60 12%
Andrew Cansfield Hobson 64 13% Elected
Iain Courtney Lamb 45 9%
Alan Herbert Nicholls 83 17% Re-elected
Total 498
Registered voters/turnout 29%
Source: Government of Ascension Island

The Council met formally for the first time at 12:15 on 27 September where Councillors were formally sworn in.[15]

See also


References