BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 15:49 GMT
Petitions lodged over democracy
Sark
Sark has had a feudal system for about 450 years
Sark's transition to democracy could be delayed after two petitions were lodged with the UK Privy Council.

In February, Sark's Chief Pleas agreed to end the island's feudal system in a two-stage plan over four years.

It breaches the European Convention of Human Rights because landowners get a seat automatically.

The petitioners, whose identities are confidential, want immediate democracy. Sark needs British Royal Assent before new assembly elections can be held.

Islanders were due to vote for an elected 28-member chamber in December.

We're very much in the hands of the Privy Council
Paul Armorgie

Deputy Paul Armorgie said the determination to see the process through still remained in the island.

Sark has been governed by a mix of landowners and elected people's deputies for about 450 years.

Owners of the island's 40 tenements (divisions of land) currently have an automatic seat in the island's government, the Chief Pleas, with islanders choosing 12 people's deputies.

Mr Armorgie said it was unclear if the petitions would delay December's planned elections.

"I'd say we're very much in the hands of the Privy Council while they await legal opinion," he added.



SEE ALSO
Sark agrees switch to democracy
22 Feb 08 |  Guernsey
Slow democracy reform is opposed
18 Feb 08 |  Guernsey
Deputy's hope for election reform
17 Jan 08 |  Guernsey
Island set for transition reforms
05 Jul 07 |  Guernsey
Island checks feudal legal advice
23 Feb 07 |  Guernsey
Final vote on democracy decision
17 Jan 07 |  Guernsey
Move to block democracy decision
24 Dec 06 |  Guernsey

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific