Saturday, 21 May 2011

Is Carwyn Legally First Minister?

One of the interesting things that have come out of the Dixo -Roberts affair is the reaction of Plaid Bloggers: both Syniadau and Dafydd Trystan on Cynon Future make the not unreasonable case that the Assembly can and should oveide the disqualification of the two candidates and Plaid Wrecsam have been mostly supportive of the two but it is interesting that when they pointed out that La Pasionaria had been aware of the problem 6 Months earlier. Peter Black sprang to his leaders defense and as aside that of Aled Roberts though his own Blog seems to be intent on commentating on Star Trek rather than what is a major political issue in Wales.

One wonders what would be the case if the roles were reversed and it was two Plaid AMs in similar trouble  going on form I suspect the LibDem Blogs will be less than supportive

When I commented on Synidau Blog on this I more or less agreed that the Assembly had the powers to reinstate the two disqualified AMs..

However: I had to point out that this was a potential minefield because taking in Winston Rodrick view that the Election of the two was invalid we may be entering a legal argument that could end up in the Courts..

Any legislation that is passed by the Assembly in which the votes of two are vital would be open to a legal challenge and could result in months of delay as it goes through the Courts  and remember the initial plans for a Badger cull were ruled out by the Courts despite all the legal advice Elin Jones had that  this was OK.

Indeed anything the two participated in before in the Assembly before their disqualification is open to question and this my include the nomination of  Carwyn Jones as first minister and the election of the  Llywedd (Presiding Officer).
If the two took part in this then  are these technically valid.

So although I would like to see Synidau's solution I'm afraid it will not be so simple and would really need the complete backing of all AMs.

Since there will be no By-elections because they would if the disqualification was confirmed or if they resigned , Because they  would be replaced by the next on the list.

This may explain Labour's  problem. With no By -election  there's not a possibility of gaining the extra seat they need to get an overall majority. However if the to remain then it would be difficult for them to bring the LibDems into coalition with the latter having (slightly) tarnished AMs. But to openly oppose reinstatement would mean creating enmity between the two Parties.

This afair was t after all is a cock up rather a  conspiracy and has shown how the Assembly should look at its Rules.

One solution would be that instead of resigning any membership of Public Bodies before being nominated . There should be a period of at least a week before they took the oath and they should not be regarded as a members of the Assembly until they do so. This would give them time to remove any impediment from taking their seat. It seems that once they are elected AMs rush to take the oath because they are only paid after they do.
This should be done immediately in order to cover any By-elections that may occur duering the current Assembly.
This should sought out the sort of mess  Aled Roberts and John Dixongot themselves in.Alas it probably not be able to make this retrospective and the  only real  option may be for them resign tthier seats.

1 comment: