FIXED TERM PARLIAMENTS BILL TO GO BEFORE COMMONS - HOWARTH

December 4, 2007 12:20 PM
David Howarth MP

David Howarth MP

NEWS RELEASE

The Liberal Democrat's Fixed Term Parliaments Bill will be put before the House of Commons on Wednesday December 5th.

The Bill, will be presented by the Liberal Democrat Shadow Solicitor General, David Howarth, MP. The aim is to introduce fixed parliamentary terms of four years which has been a long-standing policy of the party.

Mr Howarth wrote his Bill after Gordon Brown ruled out holding a General Election this autumn, and described the possibility of a poll in 2008 as "very unlikely".

Mr Howarth said: "Our current elecotral system is all too open to abuse. It allows politicians to play games in deciding when to hold a General Election and to fiddle the dates of the election for short term political advantage.

"The Liberal Democrats have for a long time argued that Parliament should be on the basis of fixed terms like most other modern democratic countries. We must not allow Prime Ministers to play games with our democratic processes. This Bill will help to protect our democracy."

The Bill will set the date of the next general election as 7th May 2009. It also states that after the next general election, general elections will take place at four yearly intervals, on the first Thursday in May. The day of the week could be varied by Parliamentary decree. Parliament would be dissolved one month before the date of the general election.

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