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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

Schedule 23 Part I : Transfer of registration of existing registered parties

329.The purpose of Part I of Schedule 23 is to ensure that parties already registered under the Registration of Political Parties Act 1998 (of which there were 138 as of 14th December 2000) make the necessary arrangements to comply with the registration scheme established under the provisions of the Act. In particular, those parties will be required to submit, within six weeks of the “initial date” (ie. 14th December 2000), a copy of the party’s constitution and a draft scheme as required under section 26 (paragraph 3(2)). In order that the time taken to consider and approve these schemes (and the work involved in doing so is likely to form a considerable part of the Commission’s initial workload) does not delay the application of the requirements of Parts III to V of this Act, paragraph 4(4) provides that a draft scheme will have effect as if it had been approved by the Commission either until it is in fact approved or until the end of the period of nine months beginning immediately after the end of the compliance period. If the Commission is not able to approve a draft scheme within that nine-month period it will be able to impose a scheme incorporating such modifications to the proposed scheme as it considers appropriate (paragraph 4(5)).

330.An existing registered party will also be required to submit, again within the six-week ‘compliance period’: a declaration for the purpose of section 28 (paragraph 2), details of its registered treasurer and, where the party is a party with accounting units, the name and address of each accounting unit and the name of the treasurer and one other officer of each such unit (paragraph 3(3) to (5)).

331.Where a party fails to provide all the necessary documentation and information required under paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Schedule within the time allowed, its registration is terminated with effect from the appointed day for the commencement of Part II (16th February 2001); the party could not then field candidates at an election. Such a party may, however, revive its registration if, within the three month period beginning immediately after the end of the six-week compliance period, it submits the necessary outstanding material to the Commission (paragraph 5).

332.By virtue of paragraph 7 of Schedule 23, the register of political parties maintained by the Registrar of Companies under the Registration of Political Parties Act 1998 is frozen with effect from the initial date (i.e. two weeks after Royal Assent). After that point no further additions or alterations to the 1998 Act register may be made.

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