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Political parties set to sign Code of Conduct

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 April 2015, 18:01 by GxMedia

GECOM Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally

by Zena Henry

With less than two weeks left for the much anticpated May 11 polls, the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) is set to launch its Code of Conduct for political parties on Tuesday in a bid to regulate the seemingly “out-of-hand” practices taking place on the campaign trail.

The list of regulations which is expected to guide politicians’ behaviour during this critical season will be launched at the agency’s headquater at High Street and it is suspected to see representatives of the contending camps.
Chairman of GECOM Dr. Steve Surujbally is also expected to make special reference to some of the activites already occuring on the trail.

He told Demerara Waves Monday, April 28 that he has recieved complaints from both major parties; the A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) where they claimed that their field workers had been harrassed while conducting work in some areas.

Outside of that, at least two letters have surfaced in print media where opposition party affiliates have accused the ruling party of sending  young men of Afro lineage to Indian communities to create fear and intimidate thoser residents.
Surujbally said that he is unaware of such occurences, especially when persons are unable to provide the evidence.
“They need to get the evidence. They need pictures and audio tapes and of course we will have to hand it over to the police.” 

Surubally said that such complaints would be simular to a criminal complaint and the police would have to get involved. He suggested too that parties can also take such complaints directly to the police.

The Chairman said that the agency strongly condems any act of intimidation or fear spreading towards supporters of any political party or their representatives.

Election observers local and international have pointed to unwanted acts on the political campaign committed by both major parties. They have called for clean campaigning and cited the most toxic of tactics as those bent on dividing citizens based on race and preaching possible crime and violence.

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April 2015