The clause that forbade parties and candidates from making election promises they knowingly cannot deliver on has been removed from newly introduced Code of Conduct for Political Parties and Candidates.
According to Permanent Secretary in the Deputy Governor’s Office, Carolyn Stoutt-Igwe, legislators had opted to remove the clause after agreeing that there was no real way to define an ‘unrealistic promise’.
“It was determined after much discussion that it should be removed because it was felt that it could be subjective. Something might seem unrealistic today but not because something seems unrealistic today means that it can’t be done,” Stoutt-Igwe said.
That unrealistic promise clause was the only one that was removed from the code of conduct, Stoutt-Igwe said. She noted that other clauses just underwent what she described as minor amendments.
A few notable mentions in the code of conduct include a clause warning candidates to avoid defamation of character of their opponents, their families, and supporters.
No one assigned to monitor conduct of parties, candidates
No abusive attacks or innuendos may be directed to campaigners or their family members for reason of their political affiliation, race, social origins and background, education, gender, religion, or any other reason, the code says. Despite this policy, a series of defamatory content against select political candidates have been circulating on local social media.
And albeit the implementation of a code of conduct, Stoutt-Igwe said there is no one specifically assigned to monitor parties and candidates’ public behaviour leading up to the elections.
She, however, said the Office of the Supervisor of Elections serves as the group that widely overseas a general election.
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