All parties sign Code of Conduct

POSTED: 08/19/16 1:06 PM

ST.MAARTEN – Eight political parties signed the Code of Conduct established by the Christian council of Churches, the United Ministerial Foundation and the Seventh Day Adventist communities during a brief ceremony at Holland House yesterday morning. With the code, the parties that are taking part in the September 26 elections promise to abide by a set of rules that should result in a clean and fair campaign for the elections.

The authors of the code state in the document that “in the past undesirable aspects have marred election campaigns and have belittled the name of St. Maarten.”

All contesting parties should conduct a clean and fair campaign for the elections, is rule number one in the code. Furthermore, “candidates seeking election should endeavor to be role models for the community in terms of moral rectitude.” (Rectitude is morally correct behavior or thinking . ed).

The code also states that candidates must always show respect for the other person’s point of view.

“Candidates are urged during the campaign to deal constructively with the issues that are of great concern for St. Maarten at the present time and make political statements about them,” reads rule number four.

Under 5., the code addresses the don’ts of this election campaign. The authors urge candidates to abstain from bribery and vote rigging for the purpose of obtaining votes, from victimization or harassment during and after the campaign and from mudslinging and character assassination.

Lastly, the code states that “those who are elected must hold themselves accountable during their term in office.”

Representatives of all eight participating parties were present at Holland House, where Father Adam Oleszczuk, the President of the Christian Council of Churches, spoke a brief welcome word, saying that the code of conduct is “a good way forward.”

Wally Havertong, the vice president of the Christian Council of Churches said that in case Mercedes van der Waals-Wyatt’s party Hope manages to collect enough signatures for its list to participate in the elections, she will add her signature to the code.

Gracita Arrindell, leader of the People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) noted that she had signed similar codes back min 2003 and 2007 for the elections at the time. “It is unfair when some parties adhere to these rules and others don’t without repercussions,” she said. “I am going to sign this but it has to be fair and balanced.”

Arrindell noted that integrity is a part of her party’s manifesto.

Sarah Wescot-Williams told the gathering that Christian values and principles are a part of the articles of incorporation of the Democratic Party association.

The Reverend Lloyd Brissett said after all parties had signed the code that there will be a moment of prayer for all parties in September. “We will pray for all parties that the plan of God will be done,” he said.

The prayer event will take place on Tuesday September 13, tentatively between 10 and 11 a.m. A decision about the venue will be taken shortly.

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