Sanctus – Chancellor Charlene Hendry confirmed to the House of Deputies today that she would be travelling to Eagleston Manor to request President Katherine Saunders dissolve the House of Deputies on November 23rd. She said this would allow parties “sufficient time” to prepare for the general election on December 10th.
Hendry also confirmed that she would be staying on as Chancellor for the few days after the Democratic Left Party choose her successor as leader on November 19th – as per the constitution, all MPs, including cabinet ministers, leave office on dissolution of the House, with civil servants running government departments during the period of purdah. “There is no sense in asking President Saunders to appoint my successor as Chancellor for two or three days”, she told MPs.
The new House of Deputies will meet on December 14th to formally elect a new Speaker, and a new Chancellor, who will then nominate members of the new government. Should the House fail to elect a Chancellor on this date, the President is required to dissolve the House once more and call for new elections. To date, this has never happened. The Senate will continue to meet; that chamber is not scheduled for dissolution until January 2027 at the latest, and as more than 30 months remain in its term, Chancellor Hendry did not have the option to also dissolve that chamber open to her.
This election will be the first election to the House of Deputies held since Sanctaria was federalised. The number of seats has fallen from 799 to 460; all constituencies have been redrawn to accommodate the new size of the House, and have been renamed to cantons. Current polling suggests a tough battle between the DLP and the SCP for control of the House; depending on who the DLP elects as their next leader, the SCP come out on top for “most preferred Chancellor and party” in two of the three options.
GWEN COPLEY, Political Correspondent