Timeline of an Assembly vacancy, part two: the correspondence trail

Catching up on a few emails, I realised that I’d neglected to post the second part of a post started in early September about the timeline for co-opting a replacement MLA (Conall McDevitt) and the sequencing of the process between the Speaker, EONI and the political party (SDLP in this case). While relatively mundane it does illustrate the various stages and worth putting into the public name to remind us of the process the next time an MLA needs to …

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Timeline of an Assembly vacancy using South Belfast as an example (bottom line, SDLP need to give a name to EONI by Friday 13th)

The NI Assembly has had numerous vacancies and co-options over the years, but few have generated as much interest at the resignation of South Belfast MLA Conall McDevitt and the SDLP’s process of replacing him. So how does the process work? Who’s involved? And what is the timeline? Article 6B of The Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections) (Amendment) Order 2009 holds the relevant process. Section 6B (1) was triggered last week when the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Graham Shields received written …

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