Dr Bishnu Ragoonath, Chairman of the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour.

The Council for Responsible Political Behaviour has confirmed that it has already begun monitoring the activities of political parties and their stakeholders, in the run up to the 2020 General Elections.

In an official statement issued today, the Council reminds all parties to adhere to the Code of Ethical Political Conduct.

The full text of the Council’s statement, follows…

MONITORING OF POLITICAL CONDUCT IN THE CURRENT ELECTION PERIOD

The 11th Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago will automatically be dissolved on September 23, 2020, that is if it is not dissolved sooner. Once Parliament is dissolved, elections must be held within three months. The 2020 General Elections in Trinidad and Tobago must therefore be held before December 23, 2020.

Several Political Parties have already mobilized in preparation for an election which is to be conducted in the midst of a pandemic, coupled with a worldwide movement to end racism and inequality. It is with this backdrop the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour has begun its monitoring activities to evaluate all Political parties, candidates and their supporters in the adherence to the Code of Ethical Political Conduct.

While Trinidadians and Tobagonians have lived in peace, harmony and understanding, notwithstanding ethnic and cultural differences, the first section of the Code of Ethical Political Conduct entitled ‘Commitment’ challenges all persons engaging in the election campaign to, amongst other things, commit to:

*  Maintaining the highest moral principles and ethical standards with respect to their conduct.

*  Promoting and enforcing respect, tolerance, harmony and peace amongst their supporters and the general public.

*  Refraining from practices that promote divisiveness in the Society and commit to the removal of any structures (behavioural, cultural, social or organizational) which reinforce divisiveness.

*  Confining their criticism of other Political Parties to policies and programmes, past record and work.

*  Upholding the integrity of the electoral process.

*  Ensuring that their conduct is above reproach.

The Council has noted that within the recent past, before the start of its monitoring, there have already been some utterances which undermine these commitments. The Council thus advises that, as of this time and until the end of the election period, all further infringements of the Code will be cited and brought to the attention of the national community.

In furtherance of its monitoring activities, the Council again invites members of the public to visit its website www.politicalethicstt.org to view the Code it its entirety.

Reports of possible violations of the Code can be emailed to the Council at [email protected]