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Politics, News, Election 2011

Counting Row

It looks like stalemate in the Welsh election overnight counting row with returning officers in the North unlikely to back down despite public pressure from politicians and the Presiding Officer.

It’s up to individual returning officers to decide whether or not to count overnight on May 5th or the following day.  Most have opted for through-the-night counting apart from those in the North.

The Assembly’s Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas had previously written to the Electoral Commission urging it to put pressure on returning officers to count overnight.

Then over the weekend it emerged he’d written directly to the returning officer responsible for the North Wales electoral region, Denbighshire’s Chief Executive, Mohammed Mehmet.

Lord Elis-Thomas then took to the airwaves to highlight the fact that all parties backed overnight counting.

All this to coincide with a meeting of returning officers being held today (Monday 11th April).

A spokesman for Mohammed Mehmet said today’s meeting wasn’t going to ‘make a decision’ because ‘a decision has already been made by the North Wales returning officers.’

The question of timing will almost certainly be raised in the meeting but it seems that barring a major change of mind, the returners are not for turning.

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About Adrian Masters

By day, Political Editor at ITV Wales. By night, obsessed with music and books.

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