A new Chief Minister was elected on the Isle of Man last week (11th October 2011) by members of the House of Keys, following a general election on the Island last month.
Ramsey MHK Allan Bell become the Island’s fifth Chief Minister, following unprecedented scenes at the Tynwald when a competitor to Mr Bell for the Chief Minister position threatened to withdraw from standing, because was no “freedom of speech in the House of Keys” following a heated exchange with the President of Tynwald.
Peter Karran said that he would be withdrawing from standing as Chief Minister, because following a warning given by the President of the Tynwald, Clare Christian to Mr Karran’s proposer, MHK Kate Beecroft. President Christian said that MHK Beecroft was spending more time in her maiden speech criticising MHK Alan Bell than proposing Mr Karren as Chief Minister. President Christian successfully urged MHK Karren to continue to allow his name to be put forward in the interests of democracy and after 45 minutes of speeches the result of the election was 29 votes to MHK Bell and 3 votes to MHK Karren.
(Since the election, in a move which seems to augur well for consensus government, the new Chief Minister has included Mr Karran in his Ministerial team, as Minister for Education.)
The general election was held on the Isle of Man on 29th September 2011 and saw several changes and the status quo was maintained in the majority of constituencies. Interestingly three Liberal Vannin party candidates were successful in the polls, including Kate Beecroft who won a seat in Douglas South and two other party candidates, who were all sworn in alongside their party leader, Peter Karran on 4th October, increasing the party’s presence in the House of Keys from about 4% to 12.5%. Traditionally political party representatives do not usually garner success on the Isle of Man in elections and the majority of candidates stand as independents.
Every five years the House of Keys is dissolved by the Lieutenant Governor and a General Election is held to elect members of the House of Keys. 24 members of the House of Keys are elected and 16 year olds are eligible to vote.
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