As the country looks ahead to General Elections later this year, the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour says it will begin monitoring and evaluating the political hustings from June this year.
In an official statement, the Council notes in accordance with the Code of Ethical Political Conduct, monitoring ideally begins three months before the five-year anniversary of the first Parliamentary sitting, or on the date that Parliament is dissolved, if the dissolution comes first.
Effectively, for the 2020 General Elections, monitoring by the Council will only commence in June 2020.
And the Council says it will embark upon a series of political awareness workshops for Sixth Form students around the country, who are eligible to vote for the first time, the first of which will happen tomorrow, March 5th.
The full text of the Council’s statement, follows:
The Code of Ethical Political Conduct makes provision for a Council for Responsible Political Behaviour that “is tasked with monitoring and evaluating adherence to the Code” during election periods.
With reference to the General Elections, the period for monitoring “is deemed to be a three-month period prior to the five-year anniversary date of the first sitting of the Parliament”, or on the date that Parliament is dissolved, should that be before the three-month period.
Effectively, for the 2020 General Elections, monitoring by the Council will only commence in June 2020. Should the Parliament be dissolved earlier, then monitoring will start on such date of the dissolution of Parliament.
Apart from monitoring and evaluating adherence to the Code, the Council also is authorised to “conduct public education around the Code”.
With approval from the Ministry of Education, the Council will be embarking upon several Workshops targeting Sixth Form students, many of whom may be eligible to vote for the first time at the next General Elections.
The first such workshop will be held on March 5, 2020, at Lecture Theatre I, Faculty of Engineering, the University of the West Indies. All schools with Sixth Form classes in North and Central Trinidad have been invited to attend and participate in this workshop.
For schools in South Trinidad, a second workshop will be held a week later (March 12) at the Debe Secondary School.
It is anticipated that Sixth Form students from Tobago will be invited to participate in a workshop, held in Tobago, in the next school term.