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Two political parties sign Code of Conduct

Two political parties sign Code of Conduct
General Secretary of the Unity Labour Party Julian Francis (left) and President of the New Democratic Party Godwin Friday (right), receive election Code of Conduct documents to sign from Rev. Adolf Davis

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With elections just over two weeks away, representatives from the two leading political parties in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) have publicly denounced the defacing of election campaign material and public property.

This comes after a billboard erected for Unity Labour Party (ULP) candidate, Mineva Glasgow was destroyed less than a day after it was erected in Campden Park last week.

Julian Francis, the general secretary of the ULP and Godwin Friday, leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) both signed the National Monitoring and Consultative Mechanism’s (NMCM) Code of Ethical Political Conduct on Friday October 16.

Included in the NMCM’s Code of Ethical Political Conduct is that “political parties shall publicly discourage the defacing or removal of their opponents’ election campaigning material”.

After signing the code of conduct, Francis said it was discouraging that he was informed on Thursday morning that a billboard erected in Campden Park for ULP candidate, Mineva Glasgow had been destroyed.

“I immediately took pictures of it, sent it to a member of the NMCM for a report to NMCM and I want to document that. This does not fall in line with the code of conduct that are signing this morning,” he said.

The ULP general secretary said his party has indicated to all candidates and supporters that public property must not be defaced. This includes the painting of roads, side roads and back walls.

He added however, that he has witnessed the start of this kind of defacing in at least one constituency already.

“I want to make sure that the supporters of the Unity Labour Party, they reminded this morning, let us not be, as we say locally, follow fashion,” Francis said.

The ULP general secretary said in signing the code of conduct, he represents all supporters and members of the ULP and “we give this our full support and you can expect from us, a very clean and effective campaign up until Election day”.

Friday, the president of the NDP also denounced the defacing of candidates’ posters at the signing ceremony last week.

And to those responsible for the defacing of Glasgow’s poster, he said “we do not support that and we discourage anyone, whomever it is, from doing so, either to the posters of any of the political candidates, or parties in this campaign”.

The NDP’s leader also said that his party discourages anyone from painting and defacing public property.

He said both major parties have agreed to that by signing the code of conduct.

“We must have this, as an election of a contest of ideas, a contest of a judgment on our practices, and our proposals and the way we have conducted ourselves, and anything that allows the people of our country to have a clear understanding of what those are must be supported, because then their choices are properly informed. And when the votes are counted on November the fifth, that we can have confidence that it reflects the will of the people,” Friday said.