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Protect proud history of peaceful elections, says Council

The Council for Responsible Political Behaviour has reminded all political parties “to protect our proud history” of peaceful and clean election campaigns.

According to a press statement from the Council issued July 19,  thus far, “the majority of Parties and candidates have maintained their respect for the Code in regard to their language and actions.” Notwithstanding this however, it stressed vigilance to ensure that the highest ethical conduct is preserved in the remainder of the election campaign.

Drawing attention to a recent National Commission for Self-Help ceremony at which only the ruling People’s National Movement’s candidates were invited to assist with the distribution of grants, the statement reported the Council  was dismayed at the “clear violation” of the Code of Ethical Political Conduct. It noted that the state institution, undertaking legitimate activities “seemingly allowing itself to become engrossed in partisan politics and politicking.”

The statement reminded the public, the section of the Code titled PROHIBITED CONDUCT, calls on Parties, candidates, and supporters to abide by the following clauses:

  • Not permit the use and abuse of State resources for political campaigns.
  • Not use funds derived from any source, public or private, to improperly influence electoral choices.
  • Not abuse a position of power, privilege, or influence, including parental, patriarchal, traditional or employment authority to influence the conduct or outcome of an election.
  • Not offer any inducement or reward, for example money, groceries, or other benefits, to another person to –
  1. a) Join or not to join a Party;
  2. b) Attend or not to attend a public meeting, march, demonstration, rally or other public political event;
  3. c) Vote or not to vote, or to vote or not to vote in any particular way.”

Citizens are invited to join in monitoring the conduct of the key actors in the elections.

“Should members of the public have any concerns about the ethical conduct of any political party, candidate, supporter or citizen at large, we implore you to please communicate such concerns to the Council so that such concerns can be investigated and the population advised on any possible breaches of the Code,” the statement advised.

Concerns/complaints/queries and supporting information can be sent to the Council’s email address: info@politicalethicstt.org.

Trinidad & Tobago goes to the polls on Monday, August 10 to elect a government.