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Move to increase transparency of Keys Election process 7 December 2007

CHIEF Minister Tony Brown MHK is to ask the Governance Committee of the Council of Ministers to look at changes to increase the transparency of the Island’s democratic process.

Measures for consideration include a requirement for all candidates for the House of Keys to make a public declaration of interests before an election. At present all Members of Tynwald have to register their interests but candidates who are not sitting Members do not have to make any such public disclosure.

Mr Brown will also ask the Committee to assess the practical implications of requiring all candidates to declare the amount and sources of their election spending, and the merits of imposing a ‘cap’ limiting this expenditure.

The Chief Minister explained:

‘The principle is well established that the interests of Tynwald Members should be open to public scrutiny. It would appear reasonable that this kind of information should be available in relation to all candidates for the House of Keys so that the electorate can be aware of it, and take it into account, before they cast their vote.’

Mr Brown continued:

‘This seems a logical step forward in the interests of the openness and accountability of our democratic system. There is also the question of the fairness and transparency of election funding, which is worth examining at the same time. I am referring these issues to the Governance Committee to consider proposals which could be put out to public consultation in due course.’

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