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GSLP/Liberals question El Hana’s eligibility to stand as election candidate

Photo by Johnny Bugeja.

The GSLP/Liberals on Wednesday questioned whether GSD candidate Youssef El Hana was eligible to stand for election given he had lived and worked in the UK until recently.

Mr El Hana moved to Gibraltar at the age of three and grew up on the Rock but has worked in the UK as a teacher for several years after completing his studies.

The question raised by the Alliance hinges on the legal requirements on who can stand for election in Gibraltar.

In a statement, the Alliance said the Gibraltar Constitution and the Parliament Act require candidates to be eligible to register to vote at the time they wish to stand for election.

The Constitution states that a person who “is not qualified to be registered as a voter at elections” is disqualified from being elected as an MP in the Gibraltar Parliament.

In order to be eligible to register on the electoral register, the Parliament Act states that a person must have been “continuously living in Gibraltar for a period of not less than six months prior to the date on which his application for registration in the register of electors is received by the registration officer”.

For the Alliance, those two clauses raised questions about Mr El Hana’s eligibility.

Earlier this week on a GBC debate, Mr El Hana confirmed that he had worked as a teacher in the UK.

The GSLP/Liberals said it was incumbent on candidates to provide accurate information to the Returning Officer during the nomination process.

“Any misrepresentation or false information provided may compromise the integrity of the election process,” it said, adding Mr Hana’s residency in the UK potentially put him “at odds” with eligibility requirements under Gibraltar law to stand as a candidate in a general election.

“Mr El Hana would not, given his recent residence in the United Kingdom, presently be eligible to register as a voter,” the Alliance said.

The GSLP/Liberals called on GSD leader Keith Azopardi to confirm that Mr El Hana “…will address these concerns promptly, providing clarity and transparency regarding his residence status in the whole of the six months before the date for the nomination of candidates.”

The Chronicle contacted the GSD for a reaction to the Alliance statement and is awaiting a response.

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