Discover how the Senedd and Elections Act will change electoral administration in Wales.
The Senedd and Elections Act will change the law on disqualification from being a Member of the Assembly.
The Act will provide clarity for potential candidates about their eligibility to stand for election. It will adjust the point at which most disqualifications take effect. This will enable more people to stand without having first to resign their jobs; instead they would need to resign only if elected.
To avoid conflicts of interest, the Act will disqualify members of the House of Lords, unless they take a formal leave of absence from Westminster.
The Act also disqualifies local authority councillors from being an Assembly Member.
The new disqualification arrangements will take effect from the next Senedd elections in 2021.
Financing and Accountability of the Electoral Commission
The Senedd and Elections Act provides for the Senedd to be responsible for the accountability and financing of the Electoral Commission for devolved elections.
The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK.
It is funded by and accountable to the UK Parliament. Consequently, whilst the Assembly works closely with the Electoral Commission and considers the findings of reviews of devolved Welsh elections, it is not currently in a position to determine how the Electoral Commission carries out its work in Wales.
Since the Assembly now has powers over devolved elections (local elections and Assembly elections), the Bill includes a duty on the Senedd to consider the financial and oversight arrangements for the work of the Electoral Commission, in relation to devolved Welsh elections and devolved referendums.
The Senedd and Elections Act will make other changes to the Assembly's electoral and internal arrangements.
- Extend the deadline for the first meeting of the Assembly after an election from seven to fourteen days.
- Clarify that the Assembly Commission has the power to charge for services not related to its functions.
The National Assembly for Wales Commission has announced plans to take forward key elements of its programme to reform Wales’ parliament.
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