Although the Island’s only political party are yet to name all of the candidates standing under their manifesto, chairman Deputy Sam Mézec has confirmed that they have a dozen party members who will be standing in May’s election.
Deputy Mézec, who is giving up his seat in St Helier No 2 to seek a Senatorial mandate, said the States needed ‘new leadership’ to break away from the ‘internal bickering’ that has dominated the last six years of government.
Currently, the party have three sitting States Members – Deputy Mézec is joined by Deputies Geoff Southern and Montfort Tadier – but the party chairman believes the upcoming election could see Reform Jersey increase their numbers.
Robert Ward, president of the Jersey branch of the National Union of Teachers, is the only new Reform Jersey candidate confirmed so far. He will be seeking election in Deputy Mézec’s current St Helier district.
Deputy Mézec said: ‘Reform Jersey has 12 candidates signed off, but we still have applications to process so will hopefully have more. We want to increase our numbers in the States so that we can hold more sway in the direction of government and get as much as possible of our manifesto implemented.
‘I believe we have been a really effective opposition and have robustly held the government to account over the last few years, whilst getting a significant number of proposals adopted, such as the Living Wage and free passes for disabled Islanders.’
And he issued a warning to the next Chief Minister that the States needed to be more politically inclusive, allowing backbenchers to take a more prominent role in shaping Island policy.
He added: ‘In the next term we want to play a full, constructive role in government. The last few years have been characterised by internal bickering, dysfunctional administration and a failure to find adequate solutions to the problems ordinary Islanders are facing in their lives.
‘We believe this can only really be solved by introducing new leadership which is more inclusive than what we have had for the last six years.
‘I am standing for Senator because I want every Islander to have the chance to vote for change – I have no interest in shouting from the sidelines. I want to be at the forefront of implementing policies to improve the standard of living for Islanders.
‘If the public want this and choose to elect me, then I will stand for a ministerial role, but my condition to the next Chief Minister will be that they must be more politically inclusive and they must have top of the government agenda the aim of improving the standard of living here.’
Islanders will head to the polls to choose the next Assembly on Wednesday 16 May.