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Embracing the Code of Conduct

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It is a genuine expression of Democracy when a body within our society can be allowed to actively participate in the conduct of the election process with such a positive reception by the majority.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council and the National Monitoring and Consultative Mechanism (NMCM) must be commended for the formulation of what is to be considered as the Code of Conduct to be adhered to leading up to the next general election in 2005/2006. {{more}}

The content of the Code has two general aims: Firstly, to appeal for a peaceful election atmosphere which can be considered free and fair to all the parties concerned, and secondly, to request that the political parties involved do not attempt to misguide the electorate by putting forward unrealistic and empty statements in a bid to secure an advantage at the polls. These two aims can be summed up as being an attempt to ensure a CLEAN election.

In a period where general election is looming, we must not lose sight of the bigger picture, which is the development of our nation. We must at all times remain level- headed and approach this very important period with a great degree of consciousness. It is with such a view in mind that it is outlined in the Code that candidates should therefore address themselves to the issues dealing with national growth, development and what can be considered as the real concerns of the people.

Furthermore, the Code clearly outlines that issues of race, religion, country of origin or class should not be used to mobilize support. It is sad that in recent times some have stretched, and in so doing taken out of its correct context a mere statement of ‘recognition’, in an attempt to transform it into an issue of race. The issue of race is totally misplaced in the Vincentian society and must be avoided at all costs since it can act as one of the most deadly means of dividing a people. The case of Trinidad and Tobago is a prime example.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has been and has remained a peaceful country by all measure, and the will to maintain peace is obvious in the Code. Hence there is an appeal to all Chairpersons of meetings to request peaceful behavior at all times and to ensure the fullest cooperation with the police in maintaining law and order.

In total, the Code acts as a guide, which is the best approach in an election season. Our confidence in the Christian Council and the NMCM must be maintained, but more importantly faith and assurance in ourselves should direct our path as a law-abiding people.

As we draw closer to the month of March 2006, it is certain that the election fever will get hotter.

It is therefore incumbent upon us all to ensure that the next general election is incident- free and that we are ready to continue the building of this our blessed nation after election day.

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