Isle of Man News - POSTED Thu 01-05-2014

Reform following election scandal

by Joanne Clague

Reform following election scandal - picture

Proposed changes to the election process are up for public consultation.

It follows an independent review after the East Douglas by-election in 2010 which resulted in a jail term for television chef Kevin Woodford's campaign manager Charles 'Buster' Lewin. He was convicted of conspiring dishonestly to secure proxy votes for Mr Woodford, who also had unidentified financial backers.

A government spokesman said the law governing House of Keys elections would be updated 'to promote the transparency and integrity of the election process'. The changes include proposals from the independent review.

The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill requires candidates to publicly declare any campaign funding they receive, and to refuse donations made anonymously.

It imposes a limit on the amount that can be spent on a campaign to £2,000 plus 50p per registered voter in the constituency. For clarity, the bill replaces the term 'absent voting' with 'advance voting' and restricts the availability of 'proxy' voting to those who cannot vote in person or by advance vote.

The deadline for members of the public to comment is Friday June 27.

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