By John Smith •
Published: 12 Sep 2023 • 17:37
Announcement of the decision to dissolve Parliament
Credit: Gibraltar Government
JUST two days after the celebration of Gibraltar National Day, Caretaker Chief Minister Fabian Picardo announced that he was calling a General Election to be held on Thursday October 12.
This decision has been ratified by the Gibraltar Governor Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, so the die is now cast.
In a statement, Picardo, said that these past four years have been some of the toughest ever faced by the Government and People of Gibraltar, with a combination of Brexit and the Pandemic followed up the cost of living crisis taking its toll on everyone.
100 Gibraltarians died due to Covid-19 and there is still no agreement with the European Union over a treaty to allow free movement across the land border.
The Government that has been in power for the last 12 years has been a coalition between the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party with seven seats and the Liberal Party of Gibraltar with three seats and it was originally intended that Fabian Picardo would step down at the end of his third term.
Some time ago however he announced that because of the challenges being faced, especially by the pandemic he had been unable to implement all the changes that he believed would benefit Gibraltar and therefore intended to stand for a fourth election.
Although the coalition has found it relatively easy to be elected during over the three sessions with only one opposition candidate (who is not standing this year) received more votes than one of the GSLP candidates who still took a place in Government.
There are some 24,000 registered electors in Gibraltar who are each allowed to vote for up to 10 candidates and the party with the largest number of elected members may either form a Government in its own right or opt for a coalition.
There is no question however that Social Media in Gibraltar has seen some major criticism of the incumbent Government, complaining about the poor state of cleanliness around the Rock, lack of support for those in difficulty, delay in obtaining a settlement of the treaty, alleged ‘jobs for the boys’, preference given to those with money and not doing enough to stop delays at the border crossing.
The Gibraltar Social Democrats are the main opposition party who hope to be able to defeat the coalition but as it has been out of power for the past 12 years, the coalition leaders insist that they are the only parties capable of being able to assist in concluding a successful treaty.
For the time being therefore, there are Caretaker Governments in both Gibraltar and Spain.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development.
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