A number of social partners met at the Conference Room of the Public Workers Union (PWU) to discuss the development of the Code of Political Conduct for the upcoming elections. The Code of Political Conduct for the 2013 elections will be reviewed and updated with a view to finalising a new Code for the upcoming elections.
All political parties participating in the elections as well as independent candidates will be invited to publicly affix their signatures to the Code as an indication of their intent to be guided by the principles of the Code of Political Conduct. Contributions to the review and updating of the Code will be sought from the membership of participating organisations and the public at large to determine the content of the new Code which is expected to be finalised by the end of July.
The Code of Political Conduct is a set of principles to guide the conduct of the political campaign. It aims to “create a political environment within Grenada which promotes free and fair elections, upholds the fundamental rights and freedoms of all citizens, upholds the rule of law, and demonstrates respect for all citizens and observance of the democratic process”.
It provides guidelines for the conduct of political parties and all candidates offering themselves for elections – what candidates should do/should refrain from during the course of the political campaign, eg the Code encourages candidates to “address priority issues and to refrain from the use of half-truths, lies, innuendoes, bribes and threats to gain political advantage.”
The Code also facilitates the participation of the general public in monitoring adherence to the Code through a mechanism called the Watch Dog Committee. The general public is encouraged to report any breaches of the Code to the Watch Dog Committee which, in turn, will report back to the general public. During the process of reviewing and updating the Code, priority issues that the electorate would wish candidates to address in their campaign will also be identified. These will be communicated to all candidates.
Partners are working towards having the Code signed during the first week in August. A Steering Committee has been identified to oversee the process. It is chaired by the Convenor of the Grouping of CSOs, Judy Williams and comprises members of the Grouping of CSOs, the Grenada Trade Union Council, the Conference of Churches Grenada and the Grenada Assn. of Retired Persons. A Drafting Committee and Watch Dog Committee have also been named.
The Code of Political Conduct was first developed for the 1999 elections. It was initiated by the Inter Agency Group of Development Organisations. Other partners were the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Grenada Trade Union Council, The Grenada Bar Association, the UWI Guild of Graduates-Grenada, Media Workers Association of Grenada and the National Initiative for Prolific Policy.
The 2013 Code of Political Conduct can be found on the face book page of the Grouping of Civil Society Organisations and also on Grenada Broadcast.
Grouping of Civil Society Organisations
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]