The prospect of a rare Presidential hustings vanished after disagreement over who should chair the public meeting.
States Vice President James Dent was due to chair the event this evening, putting written questions to the two candidates, States Member Louis Jean and serving President, William Tate.
However Mr Jean had concerns about Mr Dent’s impartiality.
He pointed out that six months ago Mr Dent had been involved in a Code of Conduct complaint against him. He was not comfortable about all questions being set beforehand and conveyed through Mr Dent, preferring that they come directly from the audience on the night. He relayed those concerns to the President’s Office.
The President’s Office responded by stepping away from involvement in the hustings, adding that the two candidates could arrange their own hustings if they so wished.
Mr Dent said:
‘On Thursday 5th November I, as Vice-President of the States, was requested by one of the candidates for the forthcoming election to the role of President, to arrange a Hustings.
‘That candidate has since indicated that he is uncomfortable with my involvement on grounds of impartiality. He has also indicated that he wishes to change the Hustings format from that used at the recent By-Election.
‘There is no requirement for a Hustings to be held and sensibly it can only take place if the two candidates are prepared to participate and accept the format of the event. I have not been able to secure that agreement and with my impartiality under question, the Hustings that I had been arranging in my capacity as Vice-President can clearly no longer take place.
‘It remains open to one or both candidates to arrange a private hustings.’
Former States Member David Earl offered to host the hustings and Alex Snowdon also indicated that he would take on the role if required and Mr Jean secured the school as a venue for the event.
However, after communication with the President’s office about the likelihood of the event going ahead, broadcast news media yesterday informed viewers that the hustings was cancelled. Mr Jean decided to write off the event. He contacted those who were assisting to tell them it was not going ahead.