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FLASHBACK: The deadlocked Tobago House of Assembly in session on January 28, 2021.

Chairman of the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour Dr Bishnu Ragoonath, has called on political parties preparing to contest the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) elections to adhere to the Code of Conduct to which they are signatories.

Dr Ragoonath issued the call in a media statement Saturday.

“The announcement by the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly that elections for a new Assembly will be held on December 6, 2021 served to activate the monitoring role of the Council for Responsible Political Behaviour as relates to the election campaign leading up to the poll.

It is to be noted that, in January 2021, the leadership of four Tobago-based political parties, as well as two Independent candidates ratified the Code of Ethical Political Conduct.

Accordingly, those political parties and individuals remain valid signatories to the Code for the upcoming election. The Council would like to encourage all other political entities that expect to participate in the upcoming elections to endorse the Code.

All Political party leaders and prospective candidates are reminded of the need to abide with the provisions of the Code. Parties and candidates are also expected to make this Code known to their supporters so as to promote and enforce respect, tolerance, harmony and peace amongst the citizenry.

In this regard, the Council underscores that all persons engaging in the election campaign must commit to:

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

· 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.

Should the party leaders, prospective candidates and supporters abide by these principles, the campaign leading to the December 2021 poll will be one of which the highest level of ethical political conduct would have been observed.

The Council however is painfully aware that there remains the possibility that some individuals may act in a manner which violates the Code, and should this occur, such infringements 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]