Falkland Islanders on Thursday elected a new government to manage the transition of the small British territory as oil exploration turns to development. Five members of the Legislative Assembly were selected to represent Stanley, the capital, and three for Camp, which is everywhere else in the South Atlantic territory of mostly remote sheep farms and small settlements. For the first time, the legislative positions will be full time. Those elected will receive a salary and must quit any other jobs. Officials said 75 percent of Stanley voters participated and just over 85 percent of the Camp constituency cast ballots. That was 1,046 votes in Stanley and 242 for Camp.
The constitution of the Falkland Islands requires that a general election be held every four years to choose the eleven members of the Islands’ Legislative Assembly or lower house of government. The next General Election is due to be held on November 7th this year. Once elected, members will choose three of their number to become members of the Executive Council, which is the upper house of the Falkland Islands. While the Executive Council is presided over by a Governor appointed by the British Government and includes a small number of other members such as the Attorney General of the Falkland Islands, the three elected members of the Executive Council drawn from among the elected members of the Legislative Assembly are the only members to have voting rights. Out of a resident population estimated at 2,931 on the occasion of the last census in April of 2012, there are nearly 2,000 people eligible to vote by reason of their being over the age of 18 and possessing the necessary status.