Election Code of Conduct

The code was signed by the two political parties
The code was signed by the two political parties

EDITOR’S NOTE: Last Friday members of the two major political parties and representatives of the media met at the Bishop Arnold Boghart Center in Roseau to sign an Election Code of Conduct. The code is meant to provide moral and spiritual guidance to both parties for a free and fair election. The entire code is below.

PREAMBLE

Recognising that the People of Dominica, through the Constitution, have affirmed their belief in principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God and faith in fundamental rights and freedoms;
Acknowledging that men and institutions remain free only when freedom is found upon respect for moral and spiritual values and the rule of law;
and Desiring the continuance of a democratic society in which all persons may, to the extent of their capacity, play some part in the institutions of national life and thus
develop and maintain due respect for lawfully constituted authority;

WE AS POLITICAL PARTIES, POLITICIANS AND PARTY SUPPORTERS AGREE:

1. To address issues and to avoid character assassination and/or mud-slinging (“mepuis”) about our opponents;
2. To avoid half-truths and misrepresentations which confuse issues and mislead the electorate;
3. To avoid language or behaviour that is intolerant of others on account of their  colour, sex or creed;
4. To uphold the laws of this country regulating the conduct of elections;
5. To vigorously resist the temptation to use bribery or the threat of victimization in any form or fashion in order to gain votes or to intimidate the electorate;
6. To avoid all forms of violence and to do everything possible to defuse anysituation which might lead to violence;
7. To discourage all persons from using walls and buildings for offensive inscriptions and graffiti; and
8. To remember that those elected to office as parliamentarians are called to be faithful stewards and that accountability in office should be their prime
commitment.

WE AS CITIZENS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE AGREE:

1. To recognize that every adult citizen has the privilege to vote according to his orher conscience, and therefore the duty not to neglect to exercise this precious
right;
2. To make an effort to know the parties, their aims, objectives and policies in order to make a reasonable choice;
3. To vote as free persons and not to debase ourselves by selling our votes for money or any personal favour;
4. To oppose and reject any candidates who use bribery, intimidation or threats of violence to win votes;
5. To reject any invitation to join in the harassment of those whose political views are different from ours;
6. To consider that integrity, impartiality, good character and sound judgment are qualities required of those to be chosen;
7. To remember that no political or economic system is perfect; and
8. To accept the verdict of the majority, even if this differs from how one has voted in accordance with one’s conscience.

WE AS PERSONNEL OF THE MEDIA AGREE:

1. To remember the tremendous influence we wield over the public;
2. To discharge our responsibility in reporting the news and views with bias toward none and in fairness to all;
3. To avoid the temptation of sensational reporting;
4. To be scrupulous in the search for what is true and honest; and
5. To remember that the freedom of the Press is one of the pillars to build up the community rather than to destroy it.

WE AS PASTORS AND PREACHERS AGREE:

1. To recognize that our basic obligation is to promote unity in our communities, and therefore to refrain from saying or doing anything likely to be interpreted
as partisan politics; and

2. To recognize our responsibility to give, at all times and especially during the period before and up to election time, moral and spiritual guidance to our flocks.

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8 Comments

  1. bigred
    November 18, 2014

    DNO you realize the limited comments – thats to show you how serious Dominicans are about issues. The election code should be one that should generate a lot of debate but alas. I tell you if it was something of lesser substance we would have over 100 comments. It is really sad but honest to say my people are so empty and frivolous it is not funny.

  2. The Baptiste
    November 17, 2014

    Wonderful platitudes indeed! Noble ideals, but pray, tell me who is monitoring this code of conduct? And what is the consequence of non-compliane with these noble codes? How are violators of these codes to be held accountable?
    Absence of monitoring mechanism, and/or method by which non-compliance should be dealt with, suggests to me that this code is similar to the Public Accounts Committee.

  3. Forever Amber
    November 17, 2014

    “5. To vigorously resist the temptation to use bribery or the threat of victimization in any form or fashion in order to gain votes or to intimidate the electorate”;

    This item of the code of conduct is absolutely EMPTY by its deliberate wording. “RESIST TEMPTATION TO USE BRIBERY” has no teeth. It should have said plainly, AVOID USING BRIBERY. At the moment the DLP is engaged in rampart bribery and who ever drafted this code is telling them, to go ahead with their bribery because they can claim to have succumbed to the temptation and, therefore, may be excused.

    I do not understand how ‘bribery’ and ‘victimisation’ could be combined effectively in one sentence. They should have been dealt with separately because they are unrelated. Was this a ploy to downplay their significance?

    Who were the drafters of this Code?

  4. Anonymous
    November 17, 2014

    Skerrit too fond of that word leader. You know that leader in German = FUEHRER, a word that strikes fear into the hearts of even little children. Please God, don’t give us another FUEHRER.

  5. November 17, 2014

    Is such behavior necessary! Why was the leader of the UWP so angry. Do you think you have what it takes to govern. Good leaders must bring people together. Mr. PM is the elected leader of the island, while LL is the UWP leader, not the leader of the opposition. Mr. PM there is no reason why you should be in the same room with a person with such a violent temper. The majority of people of DA elected Skeritte as their leader. The UWP choose Spags to be their opposition leader. The tone of voice and attitude that was displayed wasn’t necessary and was very, very unprofessional. MAN UP. Since UWP burn the poaster of the St. Joe pal rep you just show us how dispictable and desperate you have become. You can never burn the labour xxxxx’s they are too many.

    • Fed Up #1
      November 17, 2014

      At “Why???” : it is people like you who have Dominica in this sorry state.

  6. youth
    November 17, 2014

    Waste of time!!! The leader of the dlp should hav been present!!! Where was he?

  7. Fed Up #1
    November 17, 2014

    If the church was serious about this “code of conduct”, they would have insisted that the PM as leader of his party should be present for that signing. After all, all the billboards around town say “leadership is everything”, so why should the leader have been excused from such an important event.

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