New leaders vow to end ’embarrassment’ of secrecy

St Helena’s new political leaders have called for an early end to the “embarrassment” of excessive secrecy within the island’s government. They also voiced strong objections to having to sign an oath of confidentiality, blocking them from sharing any information with the public without the governor’s consent. The acting chief secretary, Gillian Francis, acknowledged calls […]

Time to end low opinion of councillors, says Governor

Governor Mark Capes has called on St Helena’s new councillors to provide strong leadership and break down past distrust of the island’s government. In what could be seen as a criticism of former councillors, he told the island’s new leaders they must take responsibility in public for the decisions they made, instead of blaming officials. […]

Cathy is elected Deputy Speaker

Cathy Hopkins has been elected as Deputy Speaker of St Helena’s new Legislative Council. She immediately took over the conduct of the inaugural meeting of the new council in the absence of the Speaker, Eric Benjamin, who had been receiving medical treatment in Cape Town. She told councillors: “Being a member of legislative council brings […]

Governor urges new councillors to show leadership

Governor Mark Capes has called on St Helena’s new councillors to provide strong leadership and break down past distrust of the island’s government. In what could be seen as a criticism of former councillors, he told the island’s new leaders they must take responsibility in public for the decisions they made. The speech hinted at […]

Eric Benjamin is elected new Speaker

Eric Benjamin has been elected as the new Speaker of St Helena’s legislative council. Mr Benjamin, who has previously served as both Speaker and a member of the executive council, was the only person nominated at the inaugural meeting of the new council following the island’s general election on 17 July 2013. He was not […]

London dismisses election protest against Governor Capes

A formal protest has been sent to Foreign Secretary William Hague over the “unpleasant” way that Governor Mark Capes dismissed elected councillors without warning. But a response from overseas territories chief Peter Hayes has claimed that Mr Capes gave “justified reasons” for removing councillors from office. In fact, those reasons only explained the decision to […]

Ninety days in a wilderness: election delayed until last moment

The restoration of democratically-elected government on St Helena is to be delayed until the last possible week. A general election is to take place on St Helena on 17 July 2013 – two days short of the 13-week deadline allowed under the island’s constitution.  Governor Mark Capes dissolved the island’s Legislative Council without warning on […]

Sacked councillors round on His Absency the Governor

Leading island politicians have publicly condemned the actions of Governor Mark Capes in dissolving St Helena’s Legislative Council without warning – and without calling an election. Mr Capes gave the 12 elected councillors an hour’s notice of his announcement, which appeared to have been timed to fit in with his holiday. He removed them from […]

Politicians are free to campaign – except when they’re not

Displaced councillors on St Helena have been left confused about whether they can exercise their political freedoms under pre-election “purdah” rules. St Helena Government has issued a statement saying they are not constrained by the rules – which it says are not rules at all. But it also says that they are limited in what […]