MEDIA RELEASE - AUGUST 29th, 2015
STATEMENT ON THE COUNCIL'S DELIBERATION
With polling day (2015) fast approaching, the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour calls upon the leadership of all Political parties and all Candidates to ensure that the Code of Ethical Political Conduct is respected and followed for the remaining days of the campaign.
The Council is also reminding the Political parties and Candidates that they must exercise a level of responsibility by making the Code known to supporters so as to promote adherence to the Code by all citizens. Once this happens the election will be conducted peacefully. There should be no harassment or intimidation and public and private property must be respected.
The Council has noted that while only seven Political parties are signatories to the Code of Ethical Political Conduct, all the Parties and Candidates who are contesting the elections have sought, in the main, to maintain good ethical conduct thus far. Although there were instances of lapses, at all times when such lapses were brought to the attention of the leadership of the Political parties, as well as to the Candidates themselves, the Council observed that there seemed to be genuine efforts to ensure that such lapses did not recur. Furthermore, the Council observed that, on several occasions, platform speakers prefaced their comments by saying they would seek to ensure that their presentation in no way breaches the Code.
With moral suasion as the only tool available to promote adherence to the Code, the Council acknowledges the support it has received from the citizenry at large, as well as the media, in promoting the Code, while also acting as watchdogs in ensuring that breaches of the Code were kept to a minimum.
The work of the Council will continue beyond election day, September 7, 2015. Immediately after the elections, Parties and Candidates would be reminded of their pledges, in accordance with the Code, regarding the removal of campaign advertisements and having their accounts audited, particularly in relation to donations. Beyond that, the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour will prepare itself for the Local Government elections, due in 2016.￼￼
Submitted on behalf of the Council,
Dr. Bishnu Ragoonath