The Council for Responsible Political Behaviour is reminding political parties, candidates, and supporters of their responsibilities under the Code of Ethical Political Conduct which party leaders signed.
The shortness of the campaign with the General Election August 10, “may drive the adoption of strategies which may be inimical to the Code”, the Council cautioned.
In a release dated July 10, the Council said the principles of the Code are to be upheld. These include maintaining the highest moral principles and ethical standards with respect to conduct during the campaign; promoting and enforcing respect, tolerance, harmony and peace amongst their supporters and the general public during the campaign.
Another principle is: confine criticism of other political parties to policies and programmes, past record and work.
The release stressed that parties and their leaders/candidates “have a critical role in advancing the ethical conduct and integrity of the electoral process.”
Among the “Prohibited conduct” to be avoided: discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, class, religion or belief; false or defamatory allegations in print or speech in connection with an election in respect of a party, its candidates, representatives or members.
The release cautioned against using language that may provoke violence; intimidate candidates, members of parties, representatives or supporters of parties or candidates, or voters.
The Code must be made known to supporters to promote adherence by all citizens. The public can view the full Code at: www.politicalethicstt.org.
The Council’s primary role is to monitor and evaluate adherence to the Code. The release stated it is being challenged to effectively monitor “in the context of the extensive use of social media” and appealed for citizens to report possible violations along with any evidence. These can be emailed to the Council at: firstname.lastname@example.org.