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Dr Bishnu Ragoonath

The Council for Responsible Political Behaviour is advising all political parties and actors to abide by the Constitution as the country faces the general election later this year.

The council, chaired by political scientist Dr Bishnu Ragoonath, said it has begun its monitoring activities to evaluate all political parties, candidates and their supporters in the adherence to the Code of Ethical Political Conduct.

According to the council, it has noted that within the recent past, before the start of its monitoring, there were some utterances which undermine the commitment to the code of conduct.

The council has advised 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.

While the group noted that 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 those 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.

Members of the public can visit the council’s website—www.politicalethicstt.org to view the code in its entirety and report of possible violations of the code can be emailed to the council at [email protected]