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Teacher may be prevented from standing in election

Teacher could be prevented from standing in election

Teacher and Workers Party candidate for Christchurch East Paul Hopkinson says he should have the same right to stand for parliament as anyone else. The candidate, who has stood in previous elections, could be prevented from standing because of an anti-democratic clause in the 1993 Electoral Act. "No employer should have the power to prevent an employee from standing", said Paul Hopkinson. "But that is precisely what the Electoral Act allows, by giving some State employers, such as schools, the power to demand that their staff take three months unpaid leave if they stand as candidates."

"A person shouldn't be financially penalised for taking part in the electoral process. Nor should they face disciplinary action or have their employment be threatened for doing so," he added .

"Any law that allows employers this power is anti-democratic and should be repealed."

This election has already seen an Act Party candidate suspended by his employer because of his candidacy. Only today it was announced that serving Police officers would be barred from standing for local government positions. Rather than a proliferation of restrictions by employers and the state, the Workers Party believes anyone should be free to stand in elections without any intervention from employers.



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