The postponement is necessary, as a general election is to be held during the course of the present year. It would not be in the public interest to hold both elections this year. Local elections are normally held every three years. The Bill, therefore, provides for a postponement of elections for a full triennial period, that is, up to the year 1940. The actual date to be fixed for the holding of the postponed elections can be considered at any time within the period of three years. If it is decided to hold the elections next year or the following year, it will not be necessary to hold triennial elections in the year 1940. When a date is appointed for the holding of a triennial election under the provisions of the Bill, subsequent elections are to be held in every third year thereafter. A new triennial period will thus be determined. The provisions of the Vocational Education Act, 1930, and the Agriculture Act, 1931, are brought into conformity with the provisions of this Bill by declaring that the election year fixed under this Bill will be the election year for the purposes of these two Acts. The remaining provisions of Part II which deal with the periods of office of members of local authorities and the filling of casual vacancies are consequential.
Special provision has been made with regard to the Borough of Cork in Part III of the Bill. Under the provisions of the Cork City Management Act, 1929, the Borough of Cork is one electoral area; and one-third of the membership of the council is elected annually. This Bill does not alter the existing system of annual elections. It provides that the members whose term of office would expire this year will remain in office until the fifth day after the appointed day, that the members whose term would expire in 1938 will remain in office until the fifth day after the first borough election held after the appointed day, and so on.
Special provision is made with regard to dissolved local authorities. Whenever a local authority is dissolved under Section 72 of the Local Government Act, 1925, and its powers and functions are transferred, an election of members to such local authority must be held within three years after the date of dissolution. This limit of three years will not apply as regards any elections due to be held before the appointed day, but it will be within the discretion of the Minister to cause an election of members to be held to a dissolved local authority before the appointed day, if he sees fit.