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Session 1997-98
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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Northern Ireland (Elections) Bill
 
 EXPLANATORY AND FINANCIAL MEMORANDUM
 
  The Bill provides for the establishment of a New Northern Ireland Assembly, as envisaged in the multi-party agreement reached in Belfast on 10th April and set out in Command Paper 3883, and for elections to it on 25th June.
 
 
The New Northern Ireland Assembly

 
  Clause 1 establishes the Assembly and makes provision for it in its initial phase. The clause makes provision for the Assembly to take part in preparations to give effect to the agreement and to consist of 108 elected members. The Schedule makes supplementary provision.
 
  Clause 2 fixes the date of the poll at 25th June, sets out the franchise, establishes that the election shall be by single transferable vote and allows the Secretary of State to make further provision about the election by order. Clause 3 permits the Secretary of State to make provision for filling vacancies.
 
  Clause 4 sets out grounds on which a person is disqualified for membership of the Assembly. Clause 5 provides for applications to the High Court in cases where disqualification is alleged.
 
 
General
 
  Clause 6 relates to orders under the Bill and provides that those relating to the election and the filling of vacancies shall not be made without prior approval of each House of Parliament.
 
  Clause 8 secures that the Bill will not become effective unless the agreement is supported in the forthcoming referendum.
 
 Financial effects of the Bill
 
  The cost of the election is not expected to exceed £3 million. The cost of running the Assembly in the first year is estimated at £3 million.
 
 Effects of the Bill on public service manpower
 
  It is estimated that the Assembly will involve the creation of approximately 125 public service posts.
 
 
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© Parliamentary copyright 1998
Prepared 21 April 1998