Electoral (Amendment) Act 2009

12.

Substitution of rule 13 of Second Schedule to European Parliament Elections Act 1997.

12.— The Second Schedule to the European Parliament Elections Act 1997 is amended by substituting the following rule for rule 13:

“Ruling on validity of nomination papers.

13.— (1) ( a) The returning officer shall rule on the validity of each nomination paper within one hour after its delivery to him or her and, subject to paragraph ( d), may rule that it is invalid if, but only if, he or she considers that the paper is not properly made out or signed.

( b) Without prejudice to paragraphs ( a) and ( d), the returning officer may also rule that the nomination paper of a candidate referred to in section 12(2)( a) is invalid if he or she considers that the provisions of section 12(2)( a) and (3) have not been complied with.

( c) The returning officer shall not rule that a nomination paper is invalid because an assentor has assented to the nomination of more than one candidate at the same European election.

( d) The returning officer shall rule invalid any nomination paper relating to a person referred to in rule 6(1) which is not accompanied by both the statutory declaration and the attestation referred to in that rule or where it appears to the returning officer that the said declaration or attestation does not conform with the said rule 6.

(2) The candidate nominated by each nomination paper and the candidate's proposer, if any, and one other person designated by the candidate or proposer, as the case may be, and no other person, except with the permission of the returning officer, shall be entitled to attend while the said nomination paper is being ruled upon by the returning officer.

(3) The returning officer shall object to the name of a candidate in a nomination paper if such name—

( a) is not a name by which the candidate is commonly known,

( b) is misleading and likely to cause confusion,

( c) is unduly long, or

( d) contains a political reference,

and where the returning officer so objects, he or she shall allow the candidate or proposer, as may be appropriate, to amend the name and, if it is not so amended to the returning officer's satisfaction, the returning officer may amend it, as he or she thinks fit, after consultation with the candidate or proposer, if either is present, or may rule that the nomination paper is invalid as not being properly made out.

(4) The returning officer shall object to the description of a candidate in a nomination paper which is, in the opinion of the returning officer, incorrect, insufficient to identify the candidate or unnecessarily long or which contains a political reference other than, where appropriate, a reference to a public or elected office held, or formerly held, by the candidate or an entry made pursuant to paragraph (3), (4) or (5) of rule 5. Where a returning officer so objects, he or she shall allow the candidate or proposer, as may be appropriate, to amend the description and, if it is not so amended to the returning officer's satisfaction, the returning officer may amend or delete it, as he or she thinks fit, after consultation with the candidate or proposer, if either is present, or may rule that the nomination paper is invalid as not being properly made out.

(5) Having ruled on the validity of a nomination paper, the returning officer shall put a note of the decision on the nomination paper and shall sign the note. If the returning officer rules that the paper is invalid, the officer shall include a statement of the reasons for the decision. The decision of the returning officer under this rule shall be final subject only to reversal on a petition questioning the election.

(6) As soon as practicable after ruling on the validity of a nomination paper, the returning officer shall give, by post or otherwise, notice in writing of the ruling to the candidate.

(7) Every person in respect of whom a nomination paper has, under this rule, been determined to be valid and whose candidature is not withdrawn in accordance with rule 15 or is not deemed under section 13(2) or rule 27(1) to have been withdrawn shall stand validly nominated as a candidate.”.