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 Senedd.
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 a Member of the Senedd.
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 Senedd 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 Senedd now has powers over devolved elections (local elections and Senedd 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 Senedd's electoral and internal arrangements.
- Extend the deadline for the first meeting of the Senedd after an election from seven to fourteen days.
- Clarify that the Senedd Commission has the power to charge for services not related to its functions.
The Senedd Commission has announced plans to take forward key elements of its programme to reform Wales’ parliament.
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